Ahead of SHIFTed Issue 004, the Distilled Issue, editor in chief Jacob Sotak and Analog/Shift Founder James Lamdin sat on a panel with ambassadors from Glenfiddich and Discommon Concepts.
All photos by Liam O'Donnell.
On December 5, Glenfiddich hosted a panel discussion at The 75 Club in TriBeCa. Unlike many brands, whose events usually take the form of master classes, this one was something entirely different. Known in Glenfiddich parlance as a “Scotch salon,” this event — like the 18th-century salons of Paris, at which luminaries like Voltaire and Diderot held forth — brought together leaders in disparate fields for a night of “Scotch, conversation and community.”
Glenfiddich ambassador Mitch Bechard brought together a panel comprised of individuals from the worlds of watches, media and design: James Lamdin, founder of Analog/Shift; Neil Ferrier of Discommon Concepts; and our very own editor in chief, Jacob Sotak.
If there’s one thing that unites these gentlemen, it’s a love of watches, design and whisky.
Over drams of Glenfiddich 26 Year Old, Glenfiddich Project XX, Glenfiddich 14 Year Old and Glenfiddich 15 “Solera,” Bechard invited the panel to discuss their opinions on the topics.
Ferrier had much to say on the subject of design. He stressed the need for a product’s quality to be reflected in its price. Many brands forget to imbue their wares with a touch of “mischief,” that little element of risk that can make a product — be it a watch, a car, a glass or a whisky — special.
Lamdin echoed Ferrier's sentiment that the quality of a product must be reflected in its value, particularly where watches are concerned. He addressed the elephant in the room — the Paul Newman Daytona — to prove his point. While Newman’s Daytona was the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, it combined investment potential with a great story.
As far as stories are concerned, that very well can be said to be Jacob Sotak’s bread and butter. When Bechard pointed out that it seemed odd for a brand to want to launch a publication in this day and age, Sotak (with a little extrapolation from Lamdin) stressed SHIFTed’s desire to free the reader from the “tyranny of urgency” by making the act of reading an experience.
On the subject of experiences, a word must be said about what we all came there to do: drink Scotch. The whiskies on offer came from all price points, and no one discriminated. While most tastings would begin with the least expensive dram and work their way up the price ladder, the tasting opened with the 26 Year, which, with its complexity, truly lived up to its moniker of “excellence.”
But my personal favorite was probably the 15 Year, which was made by “marrying” 15-year-old whiskies (that have been aged in sherry, bourbon and new oak casks) in oak Solera vats. Drinking the 15 Year was, in Bechard’s words, like “drinking a penguin in a wetsuit.” I certainly share his sentiment.
There's plenty more to drink up in our Distilled issue. Subscribe now for immediate access when it's available to download on December 9.