Ocean Front Drive
. On the second hole at Pebble Beach
’s Links at Spanish Bay
, Pebble Beach® Single Malt Scotch Whisky is on par with what is perhaps one of the most momentous pairings yet. (Left to right) Lombard Whisky Company’s Richard Lombard-Chibnall presents the first bottle of Pebble Beach® Single Malt to Pebble Beach President Cody Plott. Alongside are A.V. Imports’ V.P.s Mike Gonzalez and Dennis Copertino. A.V. Imports markets the brand in North America.
A Pedigreed Pairing. “The two greatest courses in the world are St. Andrews and Pebble Beach,” Richard Lombard-Chibnall proffered as he poured the slightly peated 12-year old single malt for Cody Plott, President of Pebble Beach. The two sat at the illustrious bar at the Inn at Spanish Bay, toasting Pebble Beach ® Single Malt, a cheerful collaboration of Scottish heritage and the spirit of an American legend.
It’s a chilly winter day in Monterey, California. The weighty fog settles on the fairway, morphing into a slinky mist that creeps up the greens. Below, a distance that’s as far as my nine iron will allow, are a unison of angry waves, crashing on the craggy rocks along rough shores. Its haunting sunless beauty shares a commonality with Scotland’s blustering coast. Today, I need plenty of club to hit into this gusting wind.
And that’s the fortuitous synchronicity of our story.
Considered Golfdom’s Hallowed Ground, Pebble Beach has been the one course in the U.S. to which all of the sports great athletes aspire to play. The other is St. Andrews in Scotland, where the game began.
The Link of Golf & Spirit
“The two greatest things to come out of Scotland are golf and single malt Scotch,” pointed out Richard Lombard-Chibnall, sales director of Lombard Scotch Whiskies, a family-owned company established in the late 1960s with a portfolio of aged and rare stock single malts from some of Scotland’s finest distilleries in its greatest producing regions.
When he perfected his 12 year old single malt from Scotland’s lush, green Speyside – thought of as the country’s premier malt whisky area - he wanted to establish a name as thought-provoking as the whisky itself.
Its character was immediately approachable: soft, elegant and wafting of floral notes and dripping honeyed fruit. Its home base was Spey Bay’s stony shores, where the river meets the sea; pebbles are ubiquitous along the largest shingle bar in Scotland.
“The name Pebble Beach was synonymous with the geography,” Lombard explained, “but quite obviously, the name belonged to someone else.”
Not intimidated by the grandeur of the trademarked and revered global recognition of the name “Pebble Beach,” Lombard took the initiative to contact the powers that be for the world-class course and was pleased to find familiar ground.
“While the game of golf was born out of Scotland and Pebble Beach remains an American golf icon, what better synergy than to moniker a single malt that links the two together?” noted Andrew Pfeffer, Western Regional Manager, AV Imports, the company that is launching the brand world-wide in 2007.
Introducing Pebble Beach® Single Malt
Pebble Beach Single Malt”
Cody Plott, President of Pebble Beach accompanied Richard Lombard-Chibnall to the well-appointed bar at the Inn at Spanish Bay, where the two officially toasted the branding of Pebble Beach® Single Malt.
“This is a great effort,” said Plott. “Whisky and golf both came out of Scotland, and I believe that naming a single malt after an American institution makes it all the more accessible. We are proud to partner with this fine spirit, the first spirit to be licensed by Pebble Beach.”
Lombard-Chibnall nodded and added, “I believe this association will break down any barriers for drinkers, leading to more education – and enjoyment – of single malt Scotch whisky. The alignment of Scotland and America shines through with the creation of Pebble Beach ® Single Malt, a whisky that offers finesse and a sensual finish.”
Pebble Beach ® single malt is aged for 12 years in second-fill American oak bourbon barrels. The American palate is attuned to the vanilla sweetness that lilts from American oak, but Pebble Beach ® single malt is made more demure from its second-go ‘round of spirit in the aged barrels. Creator Richard Lombard-Chibnall chose the Speyside region in Scotland, known for its floral and honeyed whiskies, to be the birthplace for this special bottling.
The single malt is bathed in elegance. First, you notice its golden amber hue. On the nose, you can sense the sweet buttered essence of a honey bun.
In respect of this fine whisky, allow it to sit on your tongue for 12 seconds and then push your tongue to the roof of your mouth, squeezing the liquid to a flowing waterfall, back on to your palate.
You taste creamy lemon verbena and Spring-ripe melons, sense the fragrance of freshly cut flowers and green apples, but ultimately notice its similarity to a graceful swing that will linger long in your memory.
Western Division manager for A.V. Imports, Andrew Pfeffer, pours Pebble Beach® Single Malt at a tasting for distributor Southern Wine & Spirits.
Imported by A.V. Imports and distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits
Suggested retail price: $69.99