The Star Early Edition
Indulge in a wee dram at whisky fest
DESPITE a tough economic climate, South Africa is still in the top 10 largest export markets in the world for Scotch whisky by volume, behind only France, the US, India, Spain, Mexico and Germany.
In 2016, South Africans consumed 44 million bottles of whisky.
To put these numbers into perspective, £95 million worth of Scotch Whisky was imported into South Africa in 2016: at an average exchange rate of R16.60 to the British pound, that’s approximately R1.577 billion worth of whisky.
While there are reports of brandy strengthening as a category, due to the tough economic climate, whisky is still the most consumed spirit in South Africa with 4.1 million South Africans currently drinking it.
Furthermore, Irish whisky as a subcategory has grown by 14% this year, driven by Jameson and Tullamore Dew.
Now in its 15th year, Whisky & Spirits Live has attracted the most global ambassadors, master distillers and world-famous whisky aficionados since 2010 for the simple reason that the South African market intrigues the whisky industry at large and we are an important growth market.
Whisky & Spirits Live is on at the Sandton Convention Centre in Joburg from November 8 to 10. Tickets start at R240 each from www. ticketpros.co.za and include a bottle of Consol Still Water, 16 tasting vouchers and a tasting glass.
Visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to meet an impressive line-up of global ambassadors – some of whom will also present master classes, including Tullamore Dew’s John Quinn; Jamie Dwyer of Jameson; Michael Cowman of the Irish Pot Stills of Middleton; Diageo’s Malts and Reserves global ambassador, Donald Colville; Lee Peare of Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin; David Roussier, owner of Armorik Single Malt from France; Harry Tayler, co-owner of Wolfburn Distillery; Andrew Sweeney of Glendalough; South Africa’s own master distiller, Andy Watts; The Dalmore’s Brand Ambassador, Shauna Jennens; and Sherry Tsai from Kavalan in Taiwan. (Yes, two women in whisky!)
There will also be a range of premium spirits and an impressive line-up of almost 300 whiskies for tasting.
Here’s a list of some of the things you shouldn’t miss at this year’s festival: MEET MALT MASTERS: Global ambassadors, distillery founders and managers and master distillers from Scotland, Ireland, France, the UK and South Africa. INVEST: In one of Diageo’s extremely rare, limited edition Special Releases for 2017, available for purchase at Norman Goodfellows at the event. TASTE: One-off, small batch bottles of whisky shipped in from the UK that were entered for the Independent Bottler’s Challenge.
The Frenchproduced Armorik Single Malt Whisky, making its debut at Whisky & Spirits Live.
A range of premium gins, from Stretton’s and Wixworth to lesserknown craft gins like Grey Hawk (produced in Mpumalanga); Ginifer in its distinct, black bottle; Durban’s very own, Blind Tiger; Whitley Neill and more.
Don’t miss Bathtub Gin presented by bartender extraordinaire, Lee Peare, Ableforth’s brand ambassador from Kent in the UK. EXPERIENCE: Diageo’s World-Class Mixology Sessions. Make cocktails with Ketel One Vodka, Don Julio Tequila, Bulleit Bourbon, Cardhu Single Malt Whisky, Ron Zacapa rum and Tanqueray No 10 Gin.
The quirky world of John Dewar’s and Sons Fine Whisky Emporium where John Dewar’s love of chickens and whisky combine to produce an extraordinary result.
A range of punchy Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon such as Blanton’s, 1792 Small Batch and Eagle Rare Single Barrel; Taiwanese Kavalan Single Malt; the Islay flavours of Jura; the light Speyside, Glen Grant; the Irish smoothness of Bushmill’s and The Pogues; beautiful blends like Hankey Bannister and many more.
No Under 18s will be allowed and everyone is advised to drink responsibly.
For more information visit www.whiskylive.co.za, email info@ whiskylive.co.za, Tweet us @whiskyliveSA or go to Facebook/ WhiskyLiveSA.