The Noble x Bulleit Barrel-Aged Jeans Project

As many of you may recall, OTC is part of a very cool experiment being conducted by craft distiller Bulleit and premium jeans maker Noble Denim.

Cincinnati, OH, based Noble made us a pair of their fantastic jeans that were then specially aged in well-worn barrels, located somewhere out in the Tennessee woods, normally used for making Bulleit whiskey. This project is especially fun because while the idea was a great one, no one had any clue as to what the end result would be.

These jeans were made in a very small limited-edition batch, and we should be receiving the final product soon. We are particularly excited because, frankly, we have no idea what to expect. Once the jeans were assembled, into the barrels they went for a couple of months. When we get these truly unique jeans in our hands and see how they turned out, we’ll make sure to show them to you.

We are also happy to announce that in addition to their classic 13.75 Cone Mills denim hand-cut and sewn in Tennessee, Noble will be offering a Holiday limited edition jean made from a 15 oz. Japanese denim, available in the Truman Regular and the Earnest Slim fits.

We would be remiss if we did not also point out that Bulleit Bourbon, Rye and 10-Year also make great gifts and stocking stuffers. The Bulleit brand continues to set the bar for rye-forward whiskeys that are perfect for sipping on the rocks or mixing into classic holiday cocktails.

Check out some great images from the Noble Denim x Bulleit Barrel Aged project:

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Jose Cuervo Drink

Summer cocktails are many, varied, refreshing, and always looked forward to.  When Jose Cuervo approached us and asked that we tell you about a favorite OTC summer cocktail that included, of course, tequila, it was excellent timing.

First, what cocktail worth its salt, so to speak, doesn’t contain tequila?  Second, we had recently rediscovered a favorite drink made famous by a famous D.C. institution, the Hotel Tabard Inn.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional 750mlThe Tabard Cocktail is warmer and cozier than most other “summer” cocktails, but it fits perfectly the context of how this unique concoction plays into our day.  As prepared by OTC, the Tabard Cocktail is built on the smooth and subtle complexity of Jose Cuervo’s 100% blue agave Tradicional Reposado tequila and the deep honey-infused scotch whiskey tones of Drambuie.

It’s perfect for sitting back in your leather club chair, or gathering with friends at the end of the week, and slowing down a bit to appreciate life.  It’s a sipping cocktail and a thoughtful drink.

Created by Chantal Tseng, the Hotel Tabard Inn’s head mixologist, the Tabard Cocktail feels like a throwback to the age of classic cocktails like the Sidecar or the Manhattan.  Tseng, a certified sommelier and founding member of the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild, says she is inspired by seasonal ingredients from the kitchen and garden as well as old cocktail books and forgotten recipes.

The Tabard Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz. Amontillado sherry
1/2 oz. Drambuie
Dash of orange bitters
Ice cubes
Orange Peel
Fresh Thyme Sprig

You will need a mixing glass and strainer or a shaker with a straining top.  The drink is served in a cocktail glass.

Add the ice cubes into the mixing glass and stir the tequila, sherry, Drambuie, and bitters.  Strain into a cocktail glass. Twist orange peel over the drink to release its oils, float it on top, then top with a sprig of fresh thyme.

To help tell the story of Jose Cuervo’s “History in a Bottle” campaign, watch this great tongue-in-cheek take on the company’s impact on some of history’s most iconic moments from the last 219 years.

For example, did you know Jose Cuervo invented the Margarita (yet another timeless cocktail) and even inspired beach volleyball?  Are either of those claims true? Eh, who knows – sit back and have another sip.

Thanks to Jose Cuervo for sponsoring this post.

 

History in a Bottle? Fun With Tequila

While it won’t hold up in history class, this new commercial / web video from the folks at Jose Cuervo Tradicional make timelines, and the history of this mixologist’s staple,  a bit more fun.

OTC is partnering with the iconic maker of world class tequila to bring you our favorite cocktail. Stay tuned for that upcoming article; as you might expect, it has a decidedly urbane bent to it.  So, while we work away in our stylishly secret private lounge, imbibe in this tongue-in-cheek take on some of history’s most iconic moments from the last 219 years.

 

Danish Short Film, “The Trench”

True Love Video is a small collective of filmmakers and creatives based in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Dedicated to exploring, “beauty and the human place in the Nordic nature,” they have released the first in a series of short films that capture iconic outerwear and the humans beneath.  The series, entitled UDE, begins with that most traditional of menswear garments, the trench coat.

An art house styled short, Trench is slightly moody, narrated in Danish, and doesn’t even have a guy in it.  What it does do is convey the ubiquity of menswear and its easy movement between intended purpose and daily life, like a thoughtful, solitary stroll along the quay.

True Love Video producer Emilie Bredtved Hansen told OTC, “We want you to think of these works as morning walks.  As Something simple and pleasant and without any higher purpose.”

 

Concord Button Downs2It should come as a surprise to no one that far too often form trumps function in the fashion world.

Creating something in the “style” a timeless classic is more important than actually creating something that will last long enough to become a classic. “Inspired by” is often a phrase that makes our warning flag go up.

Take the humble but indomitable oxford cloth button down shirt, “OCBD” to the preppy cognoscenti. It is perhaps the quintessential American garment, regardless of the fact that it was in fact brought to America by John E. Brooks, as in Brooks Brothers, in 1896. While taking in a polo match, Brooks was captivated by the non-flapping shirt collars worn by the English polo players. To prevent them from being whipped in the face during full-speed gallops, the riders’ collars were held in place by small buttons.

Brooks took the concept back to the States and created his own version. Thus was born the legendary Brooks Brothers button-down polo collared shirt, perhaps the most famous version of the now iconic garment.

While Brooks’ OCBD is perhaps the emotional standard-bearer of the trad-iest of all Trad garments, it is not necessarily perfect, or for that matter, what it once was. Taking this as a starting point, Dan Castelline, founder of Concord Button Downs set about the task of creating a seriously old-school, like-your-dad-wore OCBD.

Constructed from 100% untreated cotton oxford cloth, these shirts are meant to be passed down father to son and worn into the ground. Founded in Concord, Massachusetts, Castelline sought out local seamstresses to cut and assemble the shirts.  While the fabric is imported, all production is not only kept in America, but also kept in New England.

To ensure that each shirt meets specific criteria, a 65-step process covers every detail of construction. By incorporating old-school characteristics found in traditional prep school attire with updated shirting details and silhouettes, Concord Button Downs’ shirts reflect a modern take on this wardrobe staple.

While the overall cut is traditional, extra fabric has been trimmed from the waist and hips, eliminating the typical blousing effect of a full-cut shirt. The result is a trim fit that is neither slim nor skinny, but realistic and comfortable.

Collar points have been slightly lengthened to achieve a more balanced look and the collar itself is constructed without interlining or fusing. This creates a shirt collar that is soft and able to form a natural full roll. Additionally, each collar is attached by hand. Together, these elements allow the collar to be “turned” once it reaches a well-worn and frayed state, should you choose to keep it fresh looking. Now that’s New England sensibility for you.

Concord Button Downs (Logo)The distance between the collar button and second button was also increased, which presents a more natural look when not wearing a necktie.

While there is no visible logo up top, the company does make a clever and subtle concession to branding that we happen to like. Their Minuteman emblem is stitched on the bottom of the shirt’s inside placket and is visible only when the shirt is worn un-tucked.

We love these shirts, and while we hope that sizing will eventually expand to neck/sleeve gradations, for us, Medium is just right. They are not inexpensive, but these OCBDs are meant to be a lifelong investment, and when viewed in that light, $128.00 is a deal.

We also want to add that on a personal note, Dan is an impressive young guy. Starting your own business at a young age is one thing, and actually getting a foot into the garment industry is another one all together. But talking on an iconic and frankly interchangeable product like the button down oxford takes some guts.

In our opinion, Concord Button Downs has indeed succeeded in crafting a shirt that you should have in your closet. Actually, you should have several of them in your closet.