Chasing a Four-Generation Dream of Traditional Malt Whiskey

Posted by Admin | Posted in Travel | Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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In Scotland, whiskey is both an artform and a part of daily life. Distilleries can be found in every nook and cranny of the country. The tastes of this spirit vary with the style and distillation process, and favorite brands are unique to personal likes and dislikes. During a recent visit to the region of Speyside, Scotland, I fell in love with a traditional single malt whiskey.
Benromach’s story is as legendary as its whiskey. A four-generation family ambition to own a distillery came true in 1993, when the Urquhart family of Gordon & MacPhail purchased Benromach to create a true handcrafted single malt whiskey. The passion for this liquid runs deep in this family, dating back to 1898 when John Urquhart started working with Scottish distiller Gordon and MacPhail. In 1915, John was named a senior partner, and the pipeline dream of owning a family distillery was born.
His son Michael, who joined him at Gordon & MacPhail in 1933, worked hard in perfecting the single malt essence of days past. Benromach opened its doors in 1898, however when the Urquhart family purchased the distillery in 1993, it had sat empty for ten years. It was a clean canvas to create the masterpiece that the heritage of Benromach represents.
With the use of copper stills and local Romach Hills’ spring water, the family set out to do something unheard of today, making whiskey by hand. At Benromach, they believe in a manual distillery. Every process is done manually by feel, sound, taste, and sight. Nothing happens with the machinery if the distiller does not make it happen. The process is unique to the distillery and instills a sense of pride in the makers and the product.
Benromach uses the finest malted barley grown in Scotland, along with a combination of brewer’s yeast and distiller’s yeast in their recipes. They took what is known as a classic Speyside whiskey recipe and made it their own.
It’s obvious while touring their facility and conversing over a tasting that whiskey is their breath of life. In speaking with Distillery Manager Keith Cruickshank, his eyes brightened and spirit poured out in his words. The product packaging and the earth floor that stored their hand-filled casks offered simple, classic elegance and a natural feel that tugged at my heart and taste buds.
Fairly new in terms of Scottish whiskey distilleries, they are certainly making a name for themselves, and were the first to create an accredited organic whiskey. With barley purchased from a local farm and environmentally friendly casks, the soft bourbon-esque whiskey has been a hit.
My favorite single malt at the tasting was Benromach’s 15-year whiskey. Its maturity, smoky whisper finish, and deep color from the sherry cask offered a bit of dark fruit taste up front. Its sister, the 10-year, offered a stronger smoke in the nose and could be considered a good entry-level whiskey for those trying the Scottish heritage liquid for the first time. Traditional single malt whiskey is not a commonly produced product. Blends can mature faster, offering income to distillers two or three times faster than a single malt. The Urquharts stand by the integrity of the single malt, the process, and their commitment to their values.
Whiskey is the Urquhart’s calling, their life’s work. Each new generation to join the family business are custodians of the DNA to their whiskey process.

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In Search of Fulfillment: FireMoss Pottery

Posted by Admin | Posted in Living in WNC | Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017

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For Justin Allman, there is a delicate dance graced in the presence of now and the whisper of unfulfilled dreams. His hands mold shapes and surfaces, while his mind breathes existence into his stories of art.

The potter blends the emotional reflection of Japanese art with the sovereign richness surrounding Western North Carolina, creating characterized pieces. Justin’s inspired personal style is meant to draw emotion and be representative of a place you are, and a place you have dreamed of being.

The resemblance to Japanese pottery art – from 1550 AD to modern times, intimately connects with that of modern North Carolina art.  His passion for culture is showcased in his degree in history, deeply invested in the studies of Chinese and Japanese days of old. Intertwining inherited and unforgiving times past of Japan and North Carolina, the two styles fuse, capturing the eye and the heart.

“My work represents struggle. Nothing new when it seems to be in the sense of art. However, mine represents the struggle of every single man, woman, and child. Natural scenes of a snake in a patch of rhododendrons represents its daily struggle to feed itself and protect itself from other predators. We are no different – every day we struggle, work, fight, and push to survive in our world. I want people to remember that fight, by seeing my work and to never let go of their dreams and to keep fighting,” Justin expressed.

Justin Allman’s studio, Firemoss Pottery, is in Cashiers, North Carolina. From hand-building to wheel-throwing, his techniques provide his guests with a variety of ceramic mugs. Sipping from one of his coffee mugs, his desire is you will be reminded of how full your cup truly is. A metaphor for life, and how fulfilled you choose to be.

Choosing to live among the magic of Cashiers and Highlands, after graduating from the Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers, Justin Allman enjoys being part of the local artistic community. He and his family vacationed here for 27 years, naturally drawing him back to the serenity.

Justin’s touch personalizes each artistic treasure, differentiating each mug, vase, sponge holder, bowl, drink mixer, plate, and more.

He offers private lessons, kiln parties, and two carving workshops a year to teach his technique. For more information, visit his website at firemosspottery.com.

 

FireMoss Pottery
107 Lance Rd.
Cashiers, NC 28171
239-331-0054

 

Read more articles like this one here.

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BMW Performance Center is your personal danger zone.

Posted by Admin | Posted in Things to Do | Posted on Friday, October 13, 2017

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Are you ready for an afternoon thrill? If you like your hands behind the wheel and want to take an engine to its limits with no fear of blue lights in the rear-view mirror? Make your way to the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Your day begins with the basics by getting to know your instructor and the cars. Professional drivers provide insight into each of the BMW vehicles. You quickly graduate to a course designed to challenge your skills, where you learn how to properly maneuver the vehicles around obstacles.

At the performance center you are encouraged to test the brakes-stopping on a dime on a wet track, or open up the engine from zero to sixty in under five seconds. The course not only tests the limits of the car, it will test yours. This bucket list experience is a great day or two escape from the Plateau.

My favorite part of the day was the timed lap race in the M240i. Speed, cut corners, but don’t knock over the cones, all while trying to beat your friends’ times to earn bragging rights. If you apply your skills, you could win the best time of the day. I finished in 24.3 seconds, and I challenge you beat it.

What cars do you get to experience and test drive to the max?

BMW M240i
Horsepower: 320
Torque: 330 lb-ft
Weight: 3,535 lbs
0-60: 4.6 seconds

BMW 340i
Horsepower: 320
Torque: 330 lb-ft
Weight: 3,695 lbs
0-60: 4.6 seconds

BMW 650i
Horsepower: 445
Torque: 480 lb-ft
Weight: 4,275 lbs
0-60: 4.3 seconds

BMW X3
Horsepower: 300
Torque: 300 lb-ft
Weight: 4,230 lbs
0-60: 5.3 seconds

BMW X5
Horsepower: 300
Torque: 300 lb-ft
Weight: 4,680 lbs
0-60: 6.1 seconds

The excitement and laughter alone is worth it. The fun of skidding around a circular wet track and nearly losing control of the car is a rip-roaring blast. When you understand the type of car you are driving, your insight into speed, braking, lane-changing, and taking fast corners brings your driving skills and entertainment to a whole new level.

Whether you’re with your buddies or your spouse, this experience is something you won’t soon forget. The center also offers corporate retreats. A little healthy competition and fun is always good for office morale. With an onsite cafe offering options for every diet, you are well taken care of during your day-long adventure.

Want to try your skills off-road instead? The two-day driving school provides you the opportunity to pilot the X vehicles through various terrain obstacles and adverse conditions you may not think the cars (or you) can handle.

Sometimes you just need to step on the gas pedal and get out there. Open it up, channel your inner race car driver and show them what you’re made of. If you’re ready for acceleration, perhaps it’s time to cross racing off your bucket list.

If you find yourself wanting more, test your hand at the M School Experience, where you only drive the M Series vehicles; it’s an experience guaranteed to quench your thirst for speed.

Warning: You could get hooked.

P.S. – If you have a new driver in your family, they also offer a driving school for teens!

All driver’s classes start at $849.

BMW Performance Driving School
1155 SC-101
Greer, SC 29651
1-888-345-4BMW
bmwperformancecenter.com

 

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Vacation Home Market Growing!!

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014

The sales of vacation homes skyrocketed last year. A recent study also revealed that 25% of those surveyed said they’d likely buy a second home, such as a vacation or beach house, to use during retirement. For many Baby Boomers, the idea of finally purchasing that vacation home (that they may eventually use in retirement) makes more and more sense as the economy improves and the housing market recovers.

If your family is thinking about purchasing that second home, now may be the perfect time. Prices are still great. If you decide to lease the property until you’re ready to occupy it full time, the rental market in most areas is very strong. And you can still get a great mortgage interest rate.

If you are looking to escape the summer heat, call us today about finding your perfect mountain estate or cottage. We have a wonderful selection of vacation homes in the greater Highlands, Cashiers, Sapphire, Lake Glenville, and Lake Toxaway area. Call us today at 828-743-1999, or email us at info@ncliving.com.

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Home Sales Hit Highest Level of the Year

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News | Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report earlier this week. The report revealed that “sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year”. As the chart below shows, after a very slow start at the beginning of the year, residential home sales have been increasing nicely.

Home Sales Hit Highest Levels of 2014 | Keeping Current Matters

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Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News | Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Billionaire money manager John Paulson was interviewed at the Delivering Alpha Conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. During his session he boldly stated:

“I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you’re the owner-occupier of.”

Who is John Paulson?

Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson?

According to Forbes, John Paulson is:

“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:

“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”

Why does he believe homeownership is such a great investment?

Paulson breaks down the math of homeownership as an investment:

“Today financing costs are extraordinarily low. You can get a 30-year mortgage somewhere around 4.5 percent. And if you put down, let’s say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent, which is the latest data, then you would be up 50 percent on your investment.”

How many are seeing a 50% return on a cash investment right now?

Bottom Line

Whenever a billionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This billionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Provided by: KCM

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Weekly Real Estate Sales Update for the Cashiers, Sapphire, and Highlands Plateau in North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Monday, October 6, 2014

Why wait any longer to reach for the home of your dreams? Silver Creek Real Estate Group invites you to join the growing number of families and investors who have discovered the natural beauty of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, as well as the lasting value of homes and property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. If you currently own a home in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Glenville or Lake Toxaway – and are considering making a move to another corner of the world – we encourage you to select Silver Creek as your listing partner. We take great pride in successfully matching buyers with sellers and dreamers with dream homes.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of this week’s home and land sales. Property sales for the week of September 29, 2014:

A 4 bedroom/3 bath home with 26+ acres on Holt Road sold for $2,350,000
A 4 bedroom/4 bath/1 half-bath home in Old Edwards Club sold for $1,510,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath/1 half-bath home in Trillium sold for $850,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $755,250
A 4 bedroom/4 bath/2 half-bath home in Holly Forest XIV sold for $695,000
A 4 bedroom/3 bath home in Wildcat Cliffs Country Club sold for $685,000
A 4 bedroom/3 bath home in Sunset Cove sold for $600,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath/1 half-bath home in Bridge Creek sold for $520,000
A 4 bedroom/3 bath home with 7+ acres on Bob Zahner Road sold for $515,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $375,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in Burlingame sold for $360,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in Burlingame sold for $350,000
A 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Holly Forest VI sold for $200,000
A 4 bedroom/2 bath home on Highlands Cove Drive sold for $195,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home on Dillard Road sold for $150,000
A 1 bedroom/1 bath home on Brush Creek Drive sold for $53,000
23+ acres on Lakeside Circle Drive sold for $3,500,000
A lot in Pilots Knob sold for $75,000
A lot in McDonald Subdivision sold for $30,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath unit in Old Edwards Club sold for $526,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath unit in Highlands Country Club, Fairway Villas sold for $500,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath unit in Old Edwards Club, The Views sold for $490,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath unit in Emerald Cove sold for $260,000
 

Whether you are looking for your family’s vacation home or primary residence, Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to help you find the ideal home to fit your vision. If you wish to place your Highlands-Cashiers Plateau property on the market, we invite you to contact Silver Creek and speak with one of our talented and experienced brokers. To get started as quickly as TODAY, simply call us at 828-743-1999 in Cashiers and 828-526-2999 in Highlands, drop by our offices at the Shoppes at CreekSide near the Cashiers Crossroads, or e-mail your questions directly to us at info@ncliving.com. We look forward to discussing how Silver Creek Real Estate Group might best serve you and your family!

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Weekly Real Estate Sales Update for the Cashiers, Sapphire, and Highlands Plateau in North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why wait any longer to reach for the home of your dreams? Silver Creek Real Estate Group invites you to join the growing number of families and investors who have discovered the natural beauty of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, as well as the lasting value of homes and property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. If you currently own a home in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Glenville or Lake Toxaway – and are considering making a move to another corner of the world – we encourage you to select Silver Creek as your listing partner. We take great pride in successfully matching buyers with sellers and dreamers with dream homes.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of this week’s home and land sales. Property sales for the week of September 22, 2014:

A 4 bedroom/5.5 bath home in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $3,000,000
A 5 bedroom/5.5 bath home in High Hampton sold for $1,550,000
A 4 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club sold for $1,234,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Wade Hampton sold for $660,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Cullasaja Club sold for $655,000
A 4 bedroom/2.5 bath home on Horse Cove Road sold for $580,000
A 4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Stillmont sold for $540,000
A 4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Little Hogback Lake sold for $475,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Wildcat Cliffs Country Club sold for $472,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Wildcat Cliffs Country Club sold for $420,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home on Oak Road sold for $255,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Chappell Hill sold for $199,000
A 3 bedroom/1 bath home on Gooseberry Way sold for $115,000
5+ acres on Fenley Forest Road sold for $555,000
A lot in High Hampton sold for $310,000
A lot in High Hampton sold for $300,000
A lot in Whitewater Ridge sold for $155,000
A lot in Foxfire sold for $135,000
A lot in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $112,500
A lot in Pilots Knob sold for $23,000
Two lots in Mountain Vista Estates sold for $19,000
Two lots in Apple Dumplin sold for $10,000
 A 3 bedroom/3 bath unit in Trillium Ridge sold for $300,000
A 3 bedroom/2 bath unit in VZ Top sold for $190,000
 

Whether you are looking for your family’s vacation home or primary residence, Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to help you find the ideal home to fit your vision. If you wish to place your Highlands-Cashiers Plateau property on the market, we invite you to contact Silver Creek and speak with one of our talented and experienced brokers. To get started as quickly as TODAY, simply call us at 828-743-1999 in Cashiers and 828-526-2999 in Highlands, drop by our offices at the Shoppes at CreekSide near the Cashiers Crossroads, or e-mail your questions directly to us at info@ncliving.com. We look forward to discussing how Silver Creek Real Estate Group might best serve you and your family!

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Weekly Real Estate Sales Update for the Cashiers, Sapphire, and Highlands Plateau in North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why wait any longer to reach for the home of your dreams? Silver Creek Real Estate Group invites you to join the growing number of families and investors who have discovered the natural beauty of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, as well as the lasting value of homes and property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. If you currently own a home in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Glenville or Lake Toxaway – and are considering making a move to another corner of the world – we encourage you to select Silver Creek as your listing partner. We take great pride in successfully matching buyers with sellers and dreamers with dream homes.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of this week’s home and land sales. Property sales for the week of September 15, 2014:

A 4 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Highlands Country Club sold for $1,700,000
A 4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Lonesome Valley sold for $1,195,000
A 3 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Chestnut Ridge sold for $865,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $825,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Arrowhead sold for $650,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in Highlands Falls Country Club sold for $625,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Wade Hampton Golf Club sold for $585,000
A 4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Burlingame sold for $565,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Wildcat Cliffs Country Club sold for $438,000
A 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Highlands Falls Country Club sold for $400,000
A 4 bedroom/2 bath home on Big Bear Pen sold for $350,000
A 4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Wildcat Ridge sold for $350,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in Burlingame sold for $310,000
A 4 bedroom/3 bath home in Holly Forest VI sold for $270,000
A 2 bedroom/2.5 bath home in Bee Tree Ridge sold for $268,000
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Whiteside Forest sold for $235,000
A 2 bedroom/1 bath home on Big Ridge Road sold for $50,000
A lot in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $730,000
A lot in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $600,000
A lot in Woodcrest sold for $218,900
A lot in Chinquapin sold for $178,500
A lot in Chinquapin sold for $157,000
Three lots in Glendale sold for $110,000
A lot in Holly Forest IV sold for $1,000
A 2 bedroom/2.5 bath unit in Admirals Point sold for $450,000
 

Whether you are looking for your family’s vacation home or primary residence, Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to help you find the ideal home to fit your vision. If you wish to place your Highlands-Cashiers Plateau property on the market, we invite you to contact Silver Creek and speak with one of our talented and experienced brokers. To get started as quickly as TODAY, simply call us at 828-743-1999 in Cashiers and 828-526-2999 in Highlands, drop by our offices at the Shoppes at CreekSide near the Cashiers Crossroads, or e-mail your questions directly to us at info@ncliving.com. We look forward to discussing how Silver Creek Real Estate Group might best serve you and your family!

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Weekly Real Estate Sales Update for the Cashiers, Sapphire, and Highlands Plateau in North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why wait any longer to reach for the home of your dreams? Silver Creek Real Estate Group invites you to join the growing number of families and investors who have discovered the natural beauty of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, as well as the lasting value of homes and property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. If you currently own a home in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Glenville or Lake Toxaway – and are considering making a move to another corner of the world – we encourage you to select Silver Creek as your listing partner. We take great pride in successfully matching buyers with sellers and dreamers with dream homes.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of this week’s home and land sales. Property sales for the week of September 8, 2014:

A 3 bedroom/3 bath home in High Hampton sold for $1,100,000
A 4 bedroom/4 bath home in Cullasaja Club sold for $950,000
A 3 bedroom/3 bath home on Foreman Road sold for $918,000
A 4 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Cullasaja Club sold for $495,000
A 3 bedroom/2.5 bath home in Trillium sold for $495,000
A 3 bedroom/4 bath home in Cowee Mountain sold for $382,500
A 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Burlingame sold for $350,000
A 3 bedroom/2 bath home on Lance Road sold for $297,000
A 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Little Hogback Creek sold for $285,000
A 2 bedroom/3 bath home in King Mountain Club sold for $219,000
A 3 bedroom/1 bath home on Zeb Alley Road sold for $125,000
A 2 bedroom/2 bath home in Indian Lake Estates sold for $93,500
A lot on North 5th Street sold for $540,000
A lot in Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club sold for $340,000
A lot in Stone Pointe sold for $305,000
A lot in Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club sold for $209,000
A lot in Lonesome Valley sold for $150,000
A lot in Spring Forest sold for $87,500
A lot in Continental Cliffs sold for $55,000
Two lots in Burlingame sold for $50,000 each
A 3 bedroom/2 bath unit in Toxaway Falls sold for $150,000
A 2 bedroom/2.5 bath unit in Admirals Point sold for $450,000
  

Whether you are looking for your family’s vacation home or primary residence, Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to help you find the ideal home to fit your vision. If you wish to place your Highlands-Cashiers Plateau property on the market, we invite you to contact Silver Creek and speak with one of our talented and experienced brokers. To get started as quickly as TODAY, simply call us at 828-743-1999 in Cashiers and 828-526-2999 in Highlands, drop by our offices at the Shoppes at CreekSide near the Cashiers Crossroads, or e-mail your questions directly to us at info@ncliving.com. We look forward to discussing how Silver Creek Real Estate Group might best serve you and your family!

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