Jailbreak + Whisky

[title maintitle=”NEWS” subtitle=”This month in the world of indulgences …”] [dropcap letter=”T”]he moment Orange Is The New Black hit Netflix, every outspoken advocate of equality, every misfit, optimist, and every woman—and man … found themselves glued to the tele. A story of a women’s prison told from the perspective of the prisoners themselves shed light on the prison system both public and private, the LGBT community, mothers, daughters, and a morally corrupt legal system. Delving into the lives of female prisoners, it all begins with the introduction to Piper Chapman played by Taylor Schilling. Piper’s story isn’t unfamiliar but its a tailspin of a girl in love who got caught up in the wrong thing. Wrong place, wrong time, possibly the wrong girl (Alex Vause played by Laura Prepon), leading to a slew of trouble she couldn’t talk her way of landing her in a women’s correctional facility.

As a writer and storyteller, the characters I found myself most invested in are Poussey, Nicki, Red, Suzanne, Gloria, Taystee, Flaca, Sophia, Norma, Gina and Caputo. Every character is engaging, but the storylines of those women and honorary man leave you so immersed, their ability to show their humanity and vulnerability while being strong in the face of adversity won me over. Poussey broke me down; Nicki made me want to be fearless; Red made me want to stay strong and always strive to be a badass; Gloria tapped into my need to protect and never give in; Norma made me long for some secrecy; Taystee made me proud to be an advocate of human and equal rights; Sophia made me feel empowered and tenacious; Gina made me grateful for loyalty; and Caputo made me long to see fundamental systemic change in our prison system.

The series announced The Poussey Washington Fund. The initiative, named after the memorable character played by Emmy-winning actress Samira Wiley, will carry on the everlasting legacy of Orange by supporting eight preexisting non-profit advocacy groups in order to reform criminal justice, protect immigrants’ rights, end mass incarceration and support women who have been affected by it. Watch a video announcing the fund with some of the series’ most devoted fans. 

The series is one of the most human stories that tackles some of the most difficult and complex issues today. OITNB is monumental. Created by Jenji Kohan, Orange delivers a diverse cast of women that represents ALL women, making it one of the first of its kind to have a cast of its caliber. The series also introduced the world to the fearless and immensely talented trans-gender actress Laverne Cox, opening the door to more barrier breaking roles for the LGBT community. Orange Is The New Black is a special series. Once you begin to watch it, you become invested in the lives of these women. In fact, before you know it you fall in love with them—and sure, they’re criminals, but some are just lost in a faulty system, some may be violent offenders, but all have redeeming human qualities in some way.

Orange Is The New Black ushered in a new era of television for six unforgettable seasons.

In its final season, the ladies of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that prison has changed them forever. Piper struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her. Taystee’s friendship with Cindy still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria and her kitchen staff are confronted by the harsh realities of Polycon’s newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.

Netflix celebrated the highly-anticipated final season of Orange Is The New Black in New York with a trip down memory lane with stars from current and past seasons. Orange Is The New Black stars  Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Selenis Leyva, Diane Guerrero, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Adrienne C. Moore, Jessica Pimentel, Jackie Cruz, Yael Stone, Catherine Curtin, Daniella De Jesus, Nick Dillenburg, Alicia Witt, Karina Arroyave, Berto Colon, Maria Dizzia, Beth Dover, Beth Fowler, Annie Golden, Laura Gomez, Shawna Hamic, Michael Harney, Susan Heyward, Melinna Bobadilla, Amanda Marie Fuller, Ismenia Mendes, Emma Myles, Matt Peters, Alysia Reiner, Nick Sandow, Abigail Savage, Phumzile Sitole, Dale Soules, Lori Tan Chinn, Michael Torpley, Christina Toth, Lin Tucci, Nicholas Webber, commemorated the night alongside creator and executive producer Jenji Kohan, past star Jason Biggs, Madeline Brewer and more.

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Netflix
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We have often sat with our friends, our colleagues, and more than likely enjoyed some time alone with a fresh poured glass of Balvenie whisky in hand. Something about that sexy bottle that seems to fit in your hand like a glove is design done right. Recently in Los Angeles Balvenie held a whiskey gathering to share the  latest in whisky-making, the cultivation of some damn fine spirits under the Balvenie brand name, and a chance to mingle among like-minded people. In honor of the late Anthony Bourdain who had a truly magnificent program and partnership with Balvenie called Raw Craft, a series centered around showcasing the last true artisans and craftsmen/craftswomen of the world, a new series aptly named The Balvenie Stories has begun …

Hosted by Ambassador Neil Strachan and the presence of Southern California’s District Manager David Laird, the event took place at Hotel Figueroa; the recently restored and redesigned architectural gem in the heart of downtown. The hotel itself was the consummate location with its 1920s sentiment evident in the walls, the structure, the arched doorways, the secret staircases, and the strangely intriguing coffin-shaped pool nestled in between the restaurant and the tropical lounge. The event took place on their bottom floor, an elusive little escape from the roar of crowds above.

The evening included passed cocktails, as well as samples of the new series. Featuring A Day of Dark Barley, The Week of Peat, and The Sweet Toast of American Oak, each whisky produced by The Balvenie tells a human story, evolving with the protagonists and developing unexpected twists through years of maturation. The three expressions of The Balvenie Stories celebrate that evolution – coming to be as the result of a story worth telling.

Telling story is something The Balvenie does better than most any other spirit. Their willingness to find meaning in people, places, and time—finding ways to weave us together through commonalities and rarities—is truly exceptional.

Photos courtesy of Church Weiss PR

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More of the Orange Is The New Black Series Finale | Photos by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Netflix