It's one of those rare rainy fall days in Los Angeles, which can only mean one thing: It's time to break out the Islay Scotch. For those unfamiliar with the nuances of Scotch Whisky (not Whiskey... that's Irish), it comes from 5 basic regions: Highland, Speyside, Lowland, Campbeltown and Islay (although some will drop Campbeltown and only refer to 4 regions, others will also include the Islands). Scotch Whisky regulations are strict about labeling—you can only label a whisky as being from a locale if it was actually distilled there, although distilleries are allowed more specific about location if they should so choose. For example, a whisky distilled in Orkney can be labeled as Orkney Scotch Whisky, rather than by a more generic geographic term.
High in the Alps above Interlaken, Switzerland sits the small, rustic village of Gimmelwald. Gimmelwald boasts a steady population of around 130 people, most of whom make their living by farming using the same tools and techniques of their ancestors. Walking the tiny streets and narrow pathways of this rural village, it is not uncommon to see Laird Hamilton lookalikes carrying scythe and pitchfork on their way to harvest hay from the steep incline of a mountain field, or perhaps driving cattle from a remote pasture to the dairy barn or butcher where Gimmelwald's cheese and jerky is produced. This way of life may seem archaic in a thriving European nation, but is necessitated by the stunning geography where modern farming implements are rendered useless.
I've always enjoyed trying new things, whether it's a new type of food, a different wine, or just a place I've never visited before.