Adventurer’s spirit: Glenfiddich promo, GQ, 2011

Adventurer’s spirit: Glenfiddich promo, GQ, 2011


A life-changing journey begins with a simple idea and the world’s favourite – and most awarded – single malt Scotch whisky. Glenfiddich was founded on pioneering principles, so whenever you pour a measure, the possibilities are endless

GQ Promo, 2011

(This four-page advertorial won an award, but I only learnt about its success months after the ceremony. Maybe because I was still fairly new GQ didn’t want my ego to expand too quickly. Nevertheless, I was pleased that Glenfiddich was open to my more adventurous sentences and it passed my words with only minor amends. The whisky companies were always very good like that.)

As a nation of entrepreneurs, explorers and garden-shed engineers, light-bulb moments are a common occurrence on our isle. Bright ideas are our stock and trade, whether in business, pleasure or design, a fact Glenfiddich – the pioneering Scottish whisky brand – understands perfectly. If you have an adventurous bent and an unquenchable desire to experience life’s richer moments, Glenfiddich and GQ have a selection of items to slake your thirst for thrill and refinement.

Although light bulbs signify inspiration, few have made as positive an impact as the Plumen 001 (pictured), a designer energy-saving bulb created by boutique electronics manufacturer Hulger and industrial designer Sam Wilkinson. The 001 is simple yet captivating, requiring no lampshade, drawing the eye like a glowing work of art. In Britain, we’re an inventive lot, but stubborn with it. Our reluctance to yield to change is well documented, but the 001 is a positive step towards our acceptance of low-energy lighting. It’s already winning major design awards and has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It has some way to catch up with Glenfiddich’s 347 awards, but it’s an encouraging start, nonetheless.
Plumen 001, £20.

Airport concourses can be like living embodiments of the dioramas created by the enfant terribles of Britart, Jake and Dinos Chapman. A yacht is your way to bypass such agony. The Ocean Star 51.2 is a bespoke, fast craft, 16 metres long with a bimini top covering. It’s sure to deliver you feeling relaxed enough to tackle any chino store.
From £356,000. Hire from £3,244 per week (not including skipper).

Exclusive marinas: Capri, Italy The world’s finest stopover. Miami Beach With 24-hour concierge. Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi The Monaco of the Middle East

“Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors. Beware the moon, lads.” There’s no denying that An American Werewolf In London’s David and Jack brimmed with wonder but so much lycanthropic mischief could have been avoided if the intrepid American backpackers had yomped the Yorkshire Moors in 2011, not 1981, with a Garmin GPSMAP 62s handheld navigator. With detailed route planning and a three-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, our terrified tourists would surely have made Whitby by daybreak rather than find themselves trapped in a werewolf netherworld.

Britain’s best walk: Wells-next-the-Sea to Cley, Norfolk (10 miles) Coastal breezes, rare birds and seafood straight from the boat. Oxford to Wolvercote (8 miles): Barges, waterfowl and Morse’s pub. Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby (8 miles): Seaviews all the way on a stretch of the Cleveland Way

Napoleon, one of history’s more tireless tourists, said, “Study the country – local knowledge is precious knowledge.” Who can say how far Boney might have gone if he’d had Rough Guides to Russia and small German principalities in his armoury. Rough Guides first appeared in 1982, when recently graduated Mark Ellingham and teacher Martin Dunford were miffed by a lack of reliable books for travelling through Greece. Today, there are over 200 Rough Guides assisting English-speaking explorers from Languedoc to Laos, plus there are Rough Guides Mobile, downloadable podcasts and e-books.
From £7.99.

Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson once stated, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” It’s never too late to learn guitar – if you’re serious, avoid the cheap and go for quality. A Fender ’62 Stratocaster Reissue isn’t going to test the overdraft facility, much, and within two years you’ll be able to play most songs. With Roxette making a comeback, there’s never been a better time to start a moody musical movement.

Genre pioneers: Disco Manu Dibango (1973). Techno Cybotron (1983). Doom metal Witchfinder General (1982). Krautrock Amon Duul (1969).

Close to East Hampton on the coast of New York State, Montauk was the hamlet home of renowned big-game fisherman Fred Mundus, who provided the inspiration for salt-flavoured curmudgeon Quint in Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel Jaws (which isn’t as good as the film). The L-shaped, four-bedroom Cutler Residence overlooks Block Island Sound, a stretch of water that, over 50 years, saw Mundus chug back to harbour with seven great whites – most of which he’d harpooned. Cutler Residence is Montauk’s architectural jewel, created in 2003 by New York firm Murdock Young. It’s a “year-round vacation retreat” giving spectacular sea views without overpowering the wetlands and woods to the rear.

Since its launch last year, the Apple iPad has transformed the fortunes of tech-savvy tourists – but the iPad 2 stretches possibility even further. A ten-hour battery means long-haul flights needn’t feel so lengthy, while two cameras and high-definition video allow you to record – and report from – your locations. Even Mark Thatcher would find it difficult to get lost with its on board accelerometer, three axis gyroscope and compass. A whole trip could revolve around an iPad 2 – and as it’s only 0.8cm thick, it’s flat enough to fit into the most demure haversacks.

Travel app essentials: Cool Places (£1.19-£2.39): a guide to 30 UK locations, from the Isles of Scilly to Edinburgh, developed by Rough Guide founder Mark Ellingham and camping connoisseur Jonathan Knight. Berlitz Cruise Guide (£6.99): narrowed-down version of Douglas Ward’s famously abrupt, 700-page annual review Berlitz Complete Guide To Cruising & Cruise Ships. Kayak (Free): Flight, hotel and car rental support while on the hop, meaning red-faced moments of frustration are reduced and, thus, expletives averted.

Whether you’ve long-term plans to smash Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France record or merely fancy a top-100 finish at this month’s Wiltshire Big Wheel, Glenfiddich sippers and Comtat cyclists share the common bond of expecting excellence while knowing they stand out from the throng. For 2011, Comtat made the colossal decision to switch manufacturing from China to Italy to ensure supreme craftsmanship. The Comtat Aristo is the result, a 7.4kg, custom-built bike with carbon frame and forks, Campagnolo groupset and wheels, and Continental tyres, offers a top-of-the-range ride for your Sunday hack without the monumental price tag.
From £2,499.99.

Summer cycle runs: Wiltshire Big Wheel Sunday, 12 June, 17-100 miles. Manchester to Blackpool Sunday, 10 July, 60 miles. London to Southend Sunday, 17 July, 52 miles.

In 2010, a bottle of Glenfiddich 50 Year Old single malt from the distillery’s shop sold for £10,000, making it the most expensive bottle of Glenfiddich in history. Ian Martin, 46, an IT consultant from Lancashire, tasted a sample and commented, “It is truly remarkable.” Collecting fine works is justifiable and fulfilling. Just ask Jay-Z, who started buying Damien Hirst pieces in 2008, safe in the knowledge that quality art, even if purchased at top whack, will continue to rise in value – indeed, the credit crisis has barely affected art prices. Hirst’s foray into painting has excited and infuriated in equal measure – nothing new there, then. His spin art, “Beautiful Helios Hysteria Intense Painting (With Extra Inner Beauty)”, using household gloss paint, recently sold at Sotheby’s for £121,250. Alternatively, create your own for £50 and gain valuable points on your store card.

Find Damien Hirst pieces: CCA Galleries, Tilford, Surrey. Specialist in limited-edition prints. Fabrik Contemporary Art, Harbour City, Hong Kong. Modern and urban art emporium. Original Prints, Rutland, Leicestershire. Database directing users to the art they crave.

In every surfer’s mind is the disturbing image of their own catastrophic demise, wagged to absolute shreds by a shark the size of a helicopter. Despite the grim dangers, surfing is an adrenaline blast – your chance to tame the unpredictability of nature. Guts Surfboards in Swansea cater for all classes with their custom-made boards. The retro Fish, aimed at summer thrill-seekers, is an ideal board to wet your surfing appetite. Just remember that ten times as many people are killed by falling coconuts as are ripped apart by large, macropredatory fish: both not a problem in Wales.

Must-surf locations: Pipeline, Hawaii: Huge waves, shallow water and an extreme challenge. Teahupo’o, Tahiti: Consistent barrels; only for top surfers. Superbank Gold Coast, Australia: Epic, with waves up to 500 metres long.

Jeremy Clarkson describes the Bugatti Veyron “the greatest car ever made and the greatest car we will ever see in our lifetime”. Even if money is no object, a range-topping Veyron 8.0 W16 Super Sport will make a sizeable dent in your building society savings. Indeed, it would take Lionel Messi five weeks of inspirational football at Barca to be able to drive home in this incredible 1183bhp car. For a driver, the Veyron is the ultimate thrill, and with a top speed of 253mph and an acceleration of 0-60mph in 2.6secs, you would arrive at few training sessions late. There are reportedly 12 Veyrons in the UK, and the only Premier League footballer to own one is… Tim Cahill of Everton.

Taste the difference
You have wine glasses, brandy glasses and champagne flutes, so why would you not have a special vessel to enjoy your favourite single malt Scotch whisky? Riedel’s Single Malt Whisky Glass was developed in 1992 when a panel of single malt experts headed to Austria to put a number of designs to the test. This glass was the outright winner, as it concentrates aroma while bringing out a single malt’s softness and silkiness. £65.

Passport to pleasure
From its beginning, Glenfiddich has been driven by original ideas – now the single malt specialist is leading you to adventure

Creative process
On Christmas Day 1887, the first drops of Glenfiddich ran from the stills, a huge moment for William Grant who, with the assistance of his nine children, had built his Speyside distillery by hand. For 20 years, Grant saved money from his wages as a distillery manager to make his dream a reality. Today, Glenfiddich is the world’s favourite single malt whisky, selling a million bottles every year – that’s 35 per cent of total single-malt sales.

Matured to perfection
The pioneering spirit has long been associated with Glenfiddich. Its modern maturing method uses an array of oak casks to steer the flavour of its whiskies. Glenfiddich 21 is finished in bourbon barrels that once held Caribbean rum, while the 15 Year Old is matured in sherry, bourbon and new oak vats and the resulting whisky married in a unique, handcrafted Oregon pine solera vat – a vat that is always kept at least half full giving the whisky unusual character and complexity. Underpinning the taste is Robbie Dhu spring water, piped directly to the distillery from the nearby Conval Hills, giving Glenfiddich its award-winning flavour.

Neat adventurers
So if you had the choice, where would your dream adventure take you? By becoming a Glenfiddich Explorer at you could win £3,000 towards the journey of a lifetime.

Glenfiddich maximises life’s adventures
In the UK, the average male expects to live for 77 years. It isn’t a huge amount of time but ample enough to experience a range of life-affirming feats – because ‘one day you will’. Glenfiddich is urging you to sit back with a single malt and plan something incredible