FOR A TOT OF WHISKY

CityPress - - News - BIÉNNE HUIS­MAN bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

South Africans with deep pock­ets can now swirl liq­uid gold over their pam­pered palates at R18 000 a tot. This is the re­tail price of 50-year-old Glen­fid­dich sin­gle malt, dis­played be­hind thick glass at the wood-pan­elled Bas­cule Bar at Cape Town’s five-star Cape Grace Ho­tel.

Need­less to say, the bot­tle is kept un­der lock and key, and can only be ac­cessed by top man­agers.

The Bas­cule Bar has sold seven shots of the plat­inum sin­gle malt to dis­cern­ing pa­trons in the past year.

Ac­cord­ing to Glen­fid­dich’s of­fi­cial web­site, only 500 bot­tles of the ex­clu­sive drink were cre­ated.

Each bot­tle is hand-blown, in­di­vid­u­ally num­bered in wax and fin­ished in Scot­tish sil­ver by Thomas Fat­torini, a sixth-gen­er­a­tion sil­ver­smith.

The bot­tles are re­leased on a strict global al­lo­ca­tion of 50 a year.

Bas­cule man­ager Bradley Ja­cobs’ face lit up while open­ing the glass cab­i­net to re­move the prized, slightly dusty, sam­ple, which is marked #400.

“When­ever some­one or­ders a shot of this, there’s ex­cite­ment all round among staff and pa­trons.

“I guess it’s a bucket-list thing, you know, for peo­ple with deep pock­ets.

“Two years ago, after a business meet­ing, a man told us he wanted to have four tots of our most ex­pen­sive whisky. So yes, R72 000 later...”

For those with slightly less bulging pock­ets, a tast­ing of the 50-year-old sin­gle malt and its slightly younger sib­lings, Glen­fid­dich’s 40- and 30-year-olds, can be ar­ranged at R10 000 a head.

The bar has sold two of th­ese “de luxe tast­ings” since launch­ing them a month ago.

Ja­cobs in­vited City Press to have a taste, pro­vided we could claim back the R10 000 as a company ex­pense. We de­clined.

Ja­cobs said: “I tasted it about a year ago with the grand am­bas­sador from Glen­fid­dich. Yup, it was pretty smooth.

“I’m not go­ing to say it’s not worth the money, but there are nice whiskies out there that don’t nec­es­sar­ily cost an arm and a leg, or R18 000.”

Bas­cule of­fers 526 types of whisky, whiskey and bour­bon – made from fer­mented grain mash – from 14 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, in­clud­ing two dis­til­leries in South Africa.

The up-mar­ket wa­ter­ing hole of­fers some ex­tra­or­di­nary pre­mium whisky cock­tails. The Walk­ing on Sun­shine (R200) con­sists of John­nie Walker Gold, Cam­pari, naartjie, bit­ters and lime; the Rooi­bos Blazer (R190) con­tains La­gavulin 16-year-old whisky, home-made le­mon bit­ters, rooi­bos tea and maple syrup; and lo­cal gets ex­tra lekker with the Cape Malay Curry (R110), com­pris­ing John­nie Walker Plat­inum, apri­cot liqueur, roasted cumin, le­mon, bit­ters and sug­ary syrup.

Dur­ing City Press’ visit, mu­si­cian Jonathan But­ler could be seen soaking up the sun on the ter­race flank­ing the premises.

Mean­while, eight R150 000 bot­tles of 50year-old Glen Grant sin­gle malt from Scot­land were snapped up by South African buy­ers be­fore they even reached our shores in July.

“Eight bot­tles sold in one month. In fact, they were presold be­fore the stock even landed in South Africa,” said Megan Son­nen­berg, a lo­cal spokesper­son for the dis­tiller.

Two more of the bot­tles would be made avail­able through Makro’s peak sea­son gift­ing cat­a­logue soon, she said.

Up north, Dull­stroom in Mpumalanga is known as one of South Africa’s cold­est towns.

For­tu­nately, vis­i­tors can now stay warm by sam­pling 1 100 dif­fer­ent types of Scotch whisky, Ir­ish whiskey and Amer­i­can whiskey at a small lo­cal bar, con­sid­ered the home of the largest com­mer­cial col­lec­tion of the golden tip­ple in the whole south­ern hemi­sphere.

In fact, Dull­stroom’s Wild About Whisky – with a 65m² bar – has just about run out of space for bev­er­age op­tions.

“We’ve been awarded the sta­tus of the largest in the hemi­sphere by var­i­ous por­tals,” said co-owner Steve Adams.

The unas­sum­ing wa­ter­ing hole’s pa­trons range from top politi­cians to cricket play­ers and rugby stars. Adams said the per­cep­tion of whisky as the do­main of sil­ver-haired, cigar­tot­ing men was rapidly chang­ing.

“Most of our clients are male, but we’re get­ting more and more women, es­pe­cially younger, up­wardly mo­bile ones.”

The bar’s most ex­clu­sive of­fer­ing is a rare 30-year-old Port Ellen whisky from Scot­land that sells for R790 a shot.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.