From PCH to the Sunset Strip, Southern California was made for cruising, and there’s no bigger celebration of the Southland’s car culture than the annual Los Angeles Auto Show. Open to the public November 30 through December 9, the 2012 LA Auto Show promises to rev SoCal car fans into a frenzy, with nearly 50 vehicle debuts including both concept cars and soon-to-be-available production models. Among the anticipated unveilings at this year’s show is the world debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, as well as the North American debuts of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the BMW i8 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept.
Two important events took place at the Scottish firm William Grant & Sons in 1962. David Stewart was hired as an apprentice, and cask #5576 was filled with newly distilled whisky from The Balvenie Distillery. Although Scotland and its namesake spirit have a long and glorious history, the country hadn’t even begun exporting single malt Scotch at the time. Stewart rose through the ranks and became a Malt Master for the company (which owns distilleries including The Balvenie and Glenfiddich), nosing more than 400,000 casks of whisky through the years, while that single barrel matured. Many of Stewart’s techniques working with single malt whisky, such as aging the spirit in two different types of barrels, became industry standards, and he earned numerous accolades while that oh-so-special European oak sherry hogshead continued to age, mellow and evaporate.
Fifty years later, Stewart has become a consultant to the company, and that cask was finally bottled. We were lucky enough to attend an event at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills honoring Stewart’s fifty years of contributions to the Scotch whisky industry as well as taste the whisky that was five decades in the making.
If the pristine beaches of Maui aren’t enough to get you on a plane, then perhaps being up close and personal with the largest creatures in the world is a good reason to go. Thanks to Kaanapali Beach Hotel, you’ll get all that, plus more, in an offer you most certainly won’t want to throw back.
Watch my exclusive video interview with executive chef Bruno Riou. Since the elevator is made of clear glass, that could be the only way to enjoy the restaurant if you have vertigo. For everyone else, admire the décor inside, then book a table on the terrace. I recommend heading there just before sunset for the best views possible.
After a long flight to The Big Apple, who wants the stress of figuring out how to get into the city? Not us. Luckily, The Mark hotel in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is offering the relief we’ve all waited for: airport concierge.
Upon landing, a concierge will meet you at the gate, whisk you through customs and passport control, grab your bags and direct you to the car, which will be sitting curbside. Following a smooth ride to The Mark, you’re practically taken by the hand and led to the comfort of your hotel room.