Leonard Cohen On Drinking Scotch

At this point in the show I would have a cigarette here and drink some obscure scotch like Lagavulin…
– Leonard Cohen at the  Dec 5, 2012 Toronto Concert1

Leonard Cohen has been telling his 2012 concert audiences about his intent to start smoking again when he reaches 80.  At the Dec 5, 2012 Toronto concert, however, he upped the ante, adding the tippling of scotch to his anticipated 2014 onstage routine.

Consequently, to keep Cohen fans au courant with the Canadian singer-songwriter’s preferences and plans, Cohencentric offers this introduction to …

Lagavulin Scotch

Lagavulin, according to  Wikipedia, “is an Islay single malt Scotch whiskey produced at Lagavulin on the island of Islay, United Kingdom. The whiskey has a powerful, peat-smoke aroma, and is described as being robustly full-bodied, well balanced, and smooth, with a slight sweetness on the palate. The standard Lagavulin single malt is 16 years old (43%), though they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength variety, a Distiller’s edition finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, and 25- and 30-year-old varieties.”

The lowest cost found in an online search this morning [at time of original posting: Dec 7, 2012] for the standard 750 ml bottle of Lagavulin Scotch 16 Year Single Malt was $59 (without shipping costs).

It should be noted that in the past, Leonard Cohen has also indicated, in addition to a taste for scotch, a predilection for cognac2  and Chateau La Tour 1982.3  He also concocted an alcoholic potable named Red Needles, consisting of “tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit.”4

Update:  I can affirm that Leonard indeed partook of Lagavulin at least once in 2014.  See  Lunch At Leonard’s In LA – Leonard Cohen & Kezban Özcan Host Nosh For Duchess & DrHGuy

Note: Originally posted Dec 7, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Quoted in Point of View: Be Leonard Cohen by Samantha Swan (Ardent Pictures: Dec 6, 2012) []
  2. I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, Sunday 14 October 2001 []
  3. The Q Magazine Questionnaire in Q Magazine, September 1994 []
  4. Readers who have not previously tried this cocktail are strongly advised to test a few sips before committing to its consumption in quantity []

Two Photos: Leonard Cohen In The Kitchens Of His Hydra & L.A. Homes

Leonard Cohen: Hydra, 1970s

Posted by Adam Cohen on Facebook

Update: Dominique BOILE offers the information that this photo was taken in 1981 by Bruce Brown.

Leonard Cohen: Los Angeles, 2001

Leonard_Cohen_PolaroidPhoto by Chris Buck: Photos – Chris Buck’s 2001 Leonard Cohen Shoot: Rosicrucians, Photographic Destiny, & Pastrami Sandwiches With A Side Of Chopped Liver

Anjani Thomas Talks About Leonard Cohen Cooking For Her

Does Leonard cook for you?

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He made me breakfast every morning until he tried to bring me this funny green protein drink, which he drinks. Now he only makes me the eggs in the morning. I like that very much about him.quotedown2

Anjani Thomas

From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Describes His Culinary & Musical Tastes


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I can only make simple dishes. I have two grown children and they had to get something to eat, so I learned to cook. But I don’t really care for it, in contrast to Anjani, who has a well-trained palate. Also, musically, I have a very, very simple taste.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo Photoshopped by me to illustrate What Leonard Cohen Taught Chef Nancy Hinton About Food. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos – Chris Buck’s 2001 Leonard Cohen Shoot: Rosicrucians, Photographic Destiny, & Pastrami Sandwiches With A Side Of Chopped Liver

Chris_Buck_Leonard_Cohen_polaroidcamera_V4-900

Introduction by DrHGuy

The photos taken by Chris Buck for use in “Cohen on Wry” by Michael Krugman (Flaunt: Oct 2001) are some of my personal favorites because they compellingly convey the unique amalgamation of gravitas, geniality, and graciousness that defined Leonard Cohen. Chris has also provided the intriguing back story of the shoot that resulted in these superb images.

Leonard Cohen 2001 Photo Session by Chris Buck

I’m frequently asked to name my favorite photo session of my career, and I always answer “Leonard Cohen.” It’s not because this is the best photograph in my new book UNEASY (a 30-year portrait retrospective) but it was a sitting with someone I most admired, as a musician and as a man.

After the shoot I wrote six pages of handwritten notes about the experience, the text below is culled from that material.

July 20, 2001, at his home, Los Angeles

For lunch today I had a pastrami sandwich with a side of chopped liver. Leonard Cohen made it for me.

I walked into the kitchen and there was a small man leaning over a stove, wearing a dark suit and hat. As I entered Leonard Cohen turned to me, and with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth he said, “Nice to meet you, do you want some coffee, man?”

Leonard_Cohen_Polaroid

He gave me a tour of the house so I could decide where to shoot. We saw the various bedrooms, the bathroom, the back guesthouse and his upstairs studio, where he recorded his recent album.

As we stepped out of the guesthouse I asked him who the Rosicrucians were. He said that they were a group who started in Egypt – mystics who then developed over the centuries. They give seminars that you can sign up for and attend. I asked if they had contacted him (as someone who had endorsed them in his song Dress Rehearsal Rag). He laughed, and made it clear that he hadn’t really endorsed them.

Leonard_Cohen_Polaroid_sandwich_Sylvia

As we were speaking I saw an upside down beetle squirming on the driveway. I excused myself for a second and turned it over, allowing it to fly away. Leonard seemed pleased and thanked me for the gesture.

It felt magical to have this little Buddhist moment with Leonard Cohen, but I was also aware that I was probably trying to impress him.

I some took time away to sit at a wooden table in his living room to collect my thoughts and notes to prepare for the photo session. After few minutes wandered into the room and sat on the arm of a big chair a few feet from me. He could tell I was nervous, and I told him that I really wanted to do something great and special. He looked at me and said, “If you are meant to make a really wonderful picture, there is nothing in this world or any other that can stop that from happening.” And I thought, “Wow, that’s cool.” He paused and then said, “If you’re meant to make a bad picture, there’s nothing in this world or any other that can stop that either.”

Leonard_Cohen_2001-4663_Frame2_V4_s1_RGB_UNEASY

We had been told that we had two hours for the shoot, and after exactly 120 minutes we stopped and Leonard Cohen made lunch for my assistant and I. He said that he’d gone to the Jewish deli that morning and picked up ingredients, and that the chicken liver was really good today. I agreed to have some it tasted pretty great. Was it really an exceptional batch of chopped liver, or was it just special because Leonard Cohen offered it to me? This I’ll never have a sure answer for.

Chris Buck Website Instagram

fedoradivider

More information about Chris Buck’s book Uneasy at Uneasy by Chris Buck

“Scandinavia’s always been hospitable to me, It’s the gloominess that is savored in these cultures. Or perhaps it’s just all that herring my mother fed me” Leonard Cohen

scandFrom Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993. Scandinavian map by 000peter – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons, Originally posted Jan 6, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

See other Leonard Cohen geopolitical quotes at