Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

5 Things You Never Knew About … F. Paul Pacult

F. Paul Pacult is one of the most widely recognized names in spirits, and while he’s best known for his animated and candid reviews in the Spirit Journal, here are five things you might be surprised to learn about one of the world’s most adept spirits tasters.

1. “I really do sample spirits as early as 8:30 a.m. for Spirit Journal reviews. People are always incredulous when I mention that in seminars and public tastings, but it's completely true. I'm a morning person, which makes me boring socially. I take particular heat from Dale DeGroff (who’s a few months older than I am) about running off to my hotel room at 9 p.m. when the evening's just getting started. I go by the old axiom, Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Can't believe I actually just said that.”

2. “I buy many of my clothes from LL Bean because they last forever, they fit me and I live with my wife Sue in the rural splendor of New York's Hudson Valley. My sartorial sense, or lack of it in Sue's mind, is a source of fun for my Ermenegildo Zegna-smitten colleagues, like writer Jack Robertiello. On a press trip to Spain in 2009, Jack lost his luggage with all his fine Italian duds, and he was forced against every fiber of his being to wear some of my LL Bean clothes. He was horrified, poor bastard. Jack's most memorable comment as he stood looking at my clothes: ‘Even your t-shirts come from LL Bean?’ Friends tell me he’s never been the same since.”

3. “I'm a serious movie fan and have been since my high school days at Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, Illinois. I took Spanish instructor Sal Giarizzo's film class in my junior year, and I've been hooked ever since. I'm still haunted by The Seventh Seal. I've given thought to writing screenplays for 30 years, but I never can find the time. I do have a concept, though.”

4. “I wrote a trilogy of unpublished children's novelettes in the 1980s when I lived in California.”

5. “I taught transcendental meditation for five years when I lived in California and Hawaii. I studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in two locations: Arcata, California for six weeks in August 1970 and Majorca, Spain for six months from October of 1971 to March of 1972. In Majorca, we meditated for 20 hours a day for three straight months. Studying TM changed my life for the better, and I still use the techniques to this day.”