Odin completes Highland Park's Valhalla collection

Highland Park has unveiled the 4th and final whisky in its Norse-inspired Valhalla Collection, the Odin.

Odin (aka 'The Furious One') follows the releases of Thor, Loki and Freya and is named after the All-father of the gods and ruler of Asgard.

Legend has it that Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn), father of Thor and lover of Freya, is an intensely complex character. Odin is the strongest of all the Norse gods and often described as the god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He's worshiped by those in search of prestige, honor, and nobility, yet he's often cursed for being a fickle trickster.

By sacrificing an eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, he earned immeasurable knowledge and insight. With only one eye which blazes like the sun, Odin cuts an ominous figure.

The wild hunt: Åsgårdsreien (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo

Global marketing manager Gerry Tosh said: "Odin, like its namesake, is an intense, powerful and complex whisky. Bottled at 55.8% ABV, it certainly lives up to the legend, a bold single malt higher in strength than Thor, Loki and Freya. In Odin, we have been able to add the final flourish to the Valhalla collection, a stunning series of remarkable whiskies that offer affordability and exclusive collectability."

Odin's Tasting Notes
Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice. Cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin's spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin's character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak combines with rich charred walnuts.
Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.

-View the Odin tasting video here-

With only 17,000 bottles released globally, this limited edition single malt whisky comes housed in the same distinctive wooden frame as the other whiskies in the collection. It will retail for €240,00 (£180) a bottle. 


Vintage NASA photographs to go on sale in London

President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson visit Dr. Wernher von Braun

One of the greatest collections of vintage NASA photographs is currently on display at Mallett Antiques before going to auction at Bloomsbury Auctions in London at the end of this month.

The collection, "From the Earth to the Moon: Vintage NASA Photographs," features more than 600 photographs taken by NASA's pioneering astronauts in space and on the Moon, many of which are previously unseen.

After each mission NASA released only a small proportion of the astronauts' photographs to the public and news media. The remainder were accessible only to accredited researchers in the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, from where most of this exceptional collection is sourced.

Lot no. 80
Buzz Aldrin - First selfportrait in space, Gemini 12, November 1966. 

Notable highlights in the sale include the first 'selfie' taken in space by Buzz Aldrin, the only clear photograph of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, and the personal photograph album of Ed White recording his spacewalk.

Also in the sale are seventy rare large-format vintage photographs specially produced by NASA for presentation.

James McDivitt - First US Spacewalk - Ed White's EVA over New Mexico, Gemini 4, 3 June 1965

Sarah Wheeler, Head of Photographs at Bloomsbury Auctions said; "These photographs are more than merely documentary, many are simply sublime. They represent a golden age in the history of photography as well, when a few men went to the unknown to bring back awe-inspiring pictures. The view of the first Earthrise over the lunar horizon changed Man's relationship with the cosmos forever."

Lot no. 299
Richard Gordon - The Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea from Space, Gemini 11, September 1966

Lot no. 341
Alan Shepard - The landing site Fra Mauro in the lunar
sunlight, Apollo 14, February 1971

Lot no. 352
Eugene Cernan - Harrison Schmitt at Tracy’s Rock, Apollo 17, December 1972

Lot no. 355
Ronald Evans - The crescent Earth rising from behind the Moon, Apollo 17, December 1972

Lot no. 377
Pete Conrad - Alan Bean with the reflection of the photographer in his visor, EVA 2, Apollo 12, November 1969

Lot no 541
Alfred Worden - UV photograph of the Crescent Earth seen during the return from the Moon, Apollo 15, August 1971

Lot no 576
Liftoff, Apollo 16, April 1972  

All the photographs in the sale wear the original NASA stamps, captions and identification numbers, with estimates ranging from £300 to £10,000.

From the Earth to the Moon: Vintage NASA photographs will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' saleroom in London's Mayfair on Thursday 26th February 2015.



Six Iconic Super Bowl Commercials

Volkswagen - "The Force" (2011)

Pepsi - "Gotta Have It" (1991)

Apple - "1984" (1984)

Coca-Cola - "Mean Joe Greene" (1979)

Budweiser - "Puppy Love" (2014)

FedEx - "Carrier Pigeons" (2008)


Issey Miyake Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign Video

Director: Lisa Paclet
Dancers: Fanny Alton and Victoria Dauberville
Production: Miutoo


La Réserve Paris Opens Next Week

One of Paris's most anticipated hotels will open its doors this Monday. Situated in an 1854 Haussmann-style mansion, La Réserve Paris is the third property from Michel Reybier, the French hotelier behind La Réserve hotels in Geneva and Ramatuelle. 

Located at 42 Avenue Gabriel between Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montagine, this hôtel particulier offers 26 suites (with individual wine cellars) and 14 rooms, most with views of the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower and the Pantheon.

The guests who frequent the inner circle of La Réserve regulars will undoubtedly appreciate the fine touch of star designer Jacques Garcia, who has once again worked with Michel Reybier on La Réserve Paris. Garcia drew his inspiration from canvases by James Tissot, famous for their subject matter which paints an accurate picture of bourgeois Paris in the 19th century. 

La Réserve Paris in figures ... 
250 tons of marble
6 months to lay it by 12 accomplished artisans
155 different patterns laid
More than 6,000 meters of fabric for hangings, drapes
and net curtains
2 years of work for 120 artisans in 38 companies

A fan of authentic good produce, Michel Reybier has opted for contemporary French cuisine inspired by the seasons for Le Gabriel. The restaurant is run by Michelin-starred chef Jérôme Banctel, who trained alongside the greatest chefs in the business, notably including Alain Senderes at Lucas Carton. He has also worked in the kitchens of the finest culinary establishments in France and elsewhere, such as Le Crillon and L'Ambroisie.

Besides the restaurant, La Réserve Paris will also feature a 16-meter indoor swimming-pool, a spa offering Nescens treatments, a fitness room and a private library.

42 avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France 
Rates from:
1,300 EUR p/n