Iconic evening – The Macallan Rare Cask – @GrandAfrica @TheMacallanAFR @CandiceBaker

 

the macallan logo

The evening view was the sun setting off to the left, the road to the Clifton beaches winding up to the right, while in front, palm trees lined the beach, with white sands and an orange skyline framing the Atlantic Ocean.

My vantage point was upstairs at The Grand on the Camps Bay strip, one of Cape Town’s most iconic tourist hangouts. The event was the introduction of The Macallan Rare Cask, a special release from one of the whisky world’s most iconic brands.

Our host for the intimate evening was Candice Baker, the face of Highland Park and The Macallan in South Africa. Candice was nominated to take part in the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky awards and was shortlisted for the World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year award . It is a great achievement and deserved recognition for a truly passionate whisky person.

Amber, Ruby and Sienna from The Macallan 1824 series of whiskies made up the welcome drink and were paired with the outstanding meal, enjoyed in the company of an esoteric group. We had to wait for dessert for the reveal of the hero of the night, The Macallan Rare Cask. Firstly, it is a beauty to behold, for those for whom appearance is important. I’m far more interested in what’s in the bottle – and in true The Macallan fashion, was a superb dram. I don’t know the composition of the whisky but it is clear some very mature whiskies were used. How much and where? Available from R2999.00 in all major liquor retailers and online liquor stores. Here is some info, tasting notes and so on from the press release.

“Rare Cask is a truly individual Macallan whisky. It has been crafted from whiskies selected from 16 individually different casks profiles –the most ever used in a single Macallan whisky.

Less than 1% of the casks maturing are selected for Rare Cask, some of these are no longer available. Owing to the number of cask types involved and the length of time it takes to identify them, it takes longer to create than any other The Macallan. This is an extremely rewarding whisky owing to the complexity of flavour.

Rare Cask has been crafted from Spanish and American sherry seasoned oak casks, a high proportion of them being first fill, including some of the most precious and scarce casks. Collectively these factors have given rise to an exquisite whisky with a splendidly rich and resonant hue, and an unmistakably woody whisky. 

Soft notes of opulent vanilla and raisin pique the nose, giving way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon, and orange. All balanced by a spicy quartet of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. On the palate this spicy quartet are unwavering. Oak resonates, timeless, polished and rich. Vanilla and chocolate lead the finale along with a light citrus zest. The finish of this naturally occurring mahogany-red spirit is full, warming and woody.”

DECANDENCE DEFINED

Introducing The Macallan Rare Cask

Since 1824, The Macallan name has been a guarantee of unrivalled craftsmanship and quality. And now there is a new whisky bearing this name; a single malt born from this unwavering endeavour. This is Macallan Rare Cask, the embodiment of our obsession.

Rare Cask is crafted by our Master Whisky Maker from a small proportion of maturing casks at The Macallan distillery. These casks are handmade from Spanish and American oak; and are the best in the business.   Wood defines the flavour of The Macallan, with over 60% of the character comes from the cask it is aged in. But as the name suggests, there is more to this story. Rare Cask is truly rare. This rarity comes from the fact that some of the casks used in the creation of this whisky will never be used again.

The Macallan Rare Cask captures a true decadence; its creation goes beyond any other Macallan whisky and its rarity is absolute. It is a single malt of such diversity and intricacy it challenges the very conventions of whisky creation. It is almost a reinvention by design, but yet The Macallan at its core.

Bob Dalgarno, the Master Whisky Maker is responsible for creating Rare Cask, testing his knowledge and skill to create a whisky worthy of The Macallan name. “Rare Cask is about firstly identifying a selection of casks which can truly be called rare. Each of the cask styles result in different character, so each imparts their own distinct influence on the final whisky.”

With a rich mahogany red hue, The Macallan Rare Cask showcases two of The Macallan’s greatest strengths, exceptional oak casks and natural colour, which are combined with knowledge, skill, passion, commitment and creativity. A whisky produced through meticulous dedication to wood. Some would call this an obsession. We call it The Macallan.”

 

macallan rare cask

 

 

The Cold War ended. Drink @BelugaVodkaSA – From Russia with Love

 

When I received this press release I got home and searched for my old mother of pearl caviar spoon, a relic of the times I used to wander around the streets of London alternating days of work with days of shopping for shirts. Those days, like the Cold War, are over, but I still enjoy the old time James Bond movies – you know, the time when the Cold War was in full swing, when Bond could do as he pleased without any thought of moderation in drink, women or killing. But we are now in different times. We need to drink less, but drink better. We need to cozy up to mother Russia as we want to go visit to watch the Football World Cup. Beluga Vodka  is being distributed by the team that brought you the superb Innes and Gunn range of beers, so you can expect great things.

BELUGA VODKA – RUSSIA’S LEADING SUPER-PREMIUM VODKA TO LAUNCH IN SOUTH AFRICA

 

10th Jan,2016 – Russia’s premier Beluga Vodka is to be launched in South Africa this month. This supreme quality vodka is going to be available in select outlets nationally.

Distilled in the small batches in the Mariinski Distillery in remote Siberia, Beluga Vodka is made using centuries-old traditional Russian methods. Each bottle is adorned with a hand-fitted Beluga fish, the source of the finest caviar, and long considered by Russians to be the supreme accompaniment for Beluga Vodka.

Katerina Mechetina, Beluga Vodka Brand Director: “South Africans have extremely sophisticated taste, but have yet to be offered genuine Russian vodka of the same level of quality as the Single Malts and Cognacs they are drinking. Beluga Vodka is a handcrafted vodka, made using traditional Russian methods, and we hope South Africans enjoy the remarkable character and softness of an authentic, super premium, Russian vodka.”

Beluga’s crisp, fresh character is created by gentle, natural fermentation of malt spirit rarely used in vodka any longer.  Different natural ingredient infusions, individual for each product variant, are blended with water of the highest purity, from deep Siberian artesian wells.  Beluga’s delicate first distillate is washed through quartz sand, triple-filtered through graphite columns, and then allowed to slow percolate through quartz sand again. The batch is then carefully left to rest for 1 to 3 months to mature. The result is a liquid of luxurious softness, and the ultimate expression of authentic, aristocratic Russian vodka.

Rowan Leibbrandt, at Truman & Orange, Beluga Vodka’s South African distributor, comments: “Beluga is an exquisite product, and as Russia’s leading super premium vodka it’s the first choice of the most knowledgeable vodka drinkers in the world. Vodka is increasingly well understood by South Africans, and we are certain Beluga will appeal to those who are looking to experience authentic Russian vodka of the highest possible quality.”

The Beluga Family is made up of four unique variants, meticulously created in the traditional Russian style.

BELUGA NOBLE is the first to be launched in South Africa, and is a full-bodied vodka slow-percolated through birch and silver filters.  Natural honey, vanilla, and cereal infusions, and a 30-day maturation, create a product of extraordinary character. BELUGA NOBLE will be available at select outlets in the key South African provinces including Gauteng, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal, and will cost approximately R500 per bottle.

Try Beluga neat or on the rocks, best enjoyed accompanied with black caviar.

Beluga. Made with pride.

 

 

For queries:

Nadya Surikova, nadya@trumanandorange.com

+27 (0) 76 091 5588

 

Pascal Despard, pascal@trumanandorange.com

+27 (0) 72 051 5760

 

Follow us:

Facebook: Beluga Vodka South Africa

Global Facebook Page: Beluga Vodka

Twitter:@BelugaVodkaSA

 

Instagram: BelugaVodkaSA (VodkaBeluga)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT TRUMAN & ORANGE

TRUMAN & ORANGE is a partnership between passionate whisky connoisseurs, Jason Duganzich, and Rowan Leibbrandt. A love of single malt is evident with this pair’s experience in the Scotch industry and deep knowledge of fine drinks.  Formerly working for William Grant & Sons, the makers of Glenfiddich, and the world’s most successful single malt whisky, Jason was one of the driving forces behind this brand as its long-standing Brand Ambassador in South Africa. Likewise, Rowan worked for the company in the UK and Russia before moving on to Pernod Ricard, Chivas Brothers.  Truman & Orange’s mission is to bring the world of fine beer and spirits closer to the discerning drinkers in South Africa with some exciting brands in their portfolio, including the recently launched Innis & Gunn and Beluga Vodka.

Would you like to join me for a G & T?

I confess a weakness for a good G & T on a hot day. It’s my preferred choice of summertime tipple. It has the range and depth of flavours to satisfy my palate and to refresh. We have a mushrooming variety of Gin on the market, from premium international brands that sell millions of cases per year, to local micro distilleries producing superb spirits. Tonic water is no longer limited to commercial fizz, but international brands such as Fever Tree are now well known and readily available at Gin bars such as Mother’s Ruin. Yes, bars dedicated to Gin.

The highlight of my research – yes, I have done some in depth studying on the topic, mainly, shall we say, on the job training, was a tasting evening with 3 other whisky lovers, 15 different types of Gin and a sufficient quantity of superb tonic water. Tough work, I know, but we have to suffer for our craft…

I also believe that a Martini should be made with Gin, not Vodka, so yes, I have my preferences.

On the 30th January, I know where I’ll be. Have a look at the press release below, and please, come join me for a G & T.

“Gin & Tonic Festival 2016

 

The time has come for South Africans to celebrate our booming local gin distilleries. Following hot on the heels of the exploding local craft beer industry, the makers of small batch, artisanal gin is following suit. We can think of no better way to sample and celebrate than with a Gin & Tonic Festival!

This inaugural festival will launch in Cape Town on the 30th of January in the charming new Mason’s Press Building in Woodstock, showcasing 8-9 micro South African distilleries and some household international producers. A few to expect on the day will be New Harbour Distillery, Hope on Hopkins, Musgrave, Jorgensen’s, Triple Three Estate Distillery as well as the much anticipated launch of the new Bloedlemoen Gin.

Festival goers are also in for a real treat on the day; Vincent Parisis, a passionate gin-loving Belgian entrepreneur and founder of www.ginsoline.be will be sharing his knowledge as well as curated tasters of a few unique gins at the speaker’s corner. Ginsonline has proven to be one of the most successful online shops in the BENELUX and offers a variety of more than 250 gins, tonics and botanicals imported from all over the world.

Gin lovers can also look forward to having their taste buds tantalised by artisanal food offerings that can be expertly paired with various G&T cocktails, as well as the opportunity to learn from various expert ginsmiths and mixologists about what goes into making their G&T cocktail unique and learning a bit more about their “Gin Story”.

Of course a G&T Festival would be nothing without the tonic technicians, so festival enthusiasts can also look forward to quality hand crafted tonics to complement their favourite gins.

All ticketholders will be presented with a beautifully spacious balloon glass at the festival – the best way to appreciate the crafted drinks and yours to take home as a great festival memento.

G&T lovers in the JHB area and surrounds will be excited to know that plans are already in place for the 2nd phase of the G&T festival to take place at a venue and date which will soon be announced.

 

Website: http://ginandtonicfestival.co.za/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginandtonicfestival/ ”

 

Manchester United – the Gutman family history, from my perspective. @ManUtd #MUFC #VanGaal

 

Yes I know this is a whisky blog but this post has nothing to do with whisky. Please indulge me, I’m in an emotionally delicate state;)

I started supporting Manchester United in 1977. I was 10 at the time. It was the night before the FA Cup Final. United were the underdogs and Liverpool were favourite. I support the underdog. It’s my thing. United won.

My brother, Herschel, is 39 and started supporting the team before he could walk. He just didn’t know it at the time. My son, Jeff, is 15 and started supporting the team when he was in the womb.

The week before I got married (1993) my brother and I went up to Joburg to watch United play Arsenal at Ellis Park. David Beckham was an unknown youngster, along for the ride. I met Sir Alex – there is a photo somewhere. Mark Hughes was sent off during that match. I watched Ryan Giggs dancing along the left wing running circles round defenders. I can still see that picture today, in my mind.

In 1999 we won the treble. My brother and I watched the game at my house and when we won, we woke up my daughter, who was 2 years old. She is also also a United fan, although not as passionate as the gents in the family.

I watched United play Everton at Goodison Park. I was in London at the time and took the train to Liverpool Lime Street Station. It was one of the best days of my life. I wrote about it. My story was called “To Live and Die Football” and I’m sure I will find a copy of the story somewhere.

Last year I went to Old Trafford as part of a whisky tour. It was my first visit and was during the off-season. My hosts were involved in the corporate world at United so we got special treatment. I walked into the United dressing room and there, against the wall, was a United jersey with my name on it. Bucket list? I couldn’t even have dreamt of something so good.

My son and I watch every United match together. It is our thing. One day I hope to go with him to Old Trafford and see our team playing. We both realise that there are bigger issues in the world, but our team is our team. He has been away at camp for the past three weeks, which is a good thing, as I would have hated to see him watching our display over the past few weeks.

When we watch, we wear our jerseys and are quite animated. We jump up and cheer or slam our hands on the couch and swear. Football is a passionate affair in the Gutman household.

We are not fair weather supporters, but are there for the long haul. Yesterday I tweeted “Supported ‪@ManUtd since 1977 and not going to stop now. I may, however, fall asleep during the second half”

I do mind losing. But, footie is a game and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It is not the end of the world. I get upset, yes, but life goes on. But when we play without heart, without soul, when we seem to not care, then I mind. When the tactic seems to be to hold on to the ball and not score, I wonder what is going on in the manager’s mind. The players seemed almost frightened to play, like they were being held back on a leash.

I often listen to my son and his mates discuss the tactical detail of the entire European football scene. With the internet and FIFA they have access to all the information they need and they devour it. Their knowledge is remarkable. When I was their age, we had the newspapers and during school holidays our weekly treat was to watch Match of the Day on a Tuesday lunchtime somewhere in town. I’ve been thinking what Jeff would have made of the last 4 matches. A couple of months ago he was expressing concern about Van Gaal. It struck me that Jeff’s early teens would be remembered as the Moyes and Van Gaal era. Pretty tragic.

Tomorrow we play Chelsea. If we win, great, if we lose, it is the worst run since 1936 or something. Whatever the result, Van Gaal must go. We need a change. We need to regain the passion, the pride of playing for the jersey. United is not a normal team, it is an institution.

The people that wear the badge on their hearts need to understand the history and the passion that go hand in hand with playing in the Manchester United jersey.

Glory Glory!

Classy cocktails – a @WorldClassSA night on the town

Cocktail culture has gripped Cape Town and a night on the town in one of the most beautiful cities in the world should include world-class cocktails.

In anticipation of a long, hot summer I hit the nightspots to conduct some in-depth research into where to go and what to drink. Time constraints limited me to four places. Addresses and contact details are at the end of the story.

The idea was to drink less, but drink better and ensure that whatever cocktails we ordered were made with premium and super-premium spirits. There is a world of difference between cocktails made with average spirits compared to gems crafted with world-class spirits.

First stop was HQ, which a few years ago was famous for Friday nights with Rene the DJ. HQ is a restaurant and bar with a decent dance area. The crowd is from 22 to about 70, with the older patrons occupying more of the restaurant area than the bar area. We ordered a Guatemalan Mai Tai, mai tai IMG_2028which has a base of Ron Zacapa Rum, served in an Easter Island statue style glass and a HQ Blush, with a base of Tanqueray 10 Gin.

hq blush IMG_2027The drinks transported us to an island setting, you know the scene, close your eyes and imagine the cool breeze, sand between your toes…yes, that scene. Drinks were delicious, the vibe was great and picking up quite quickly, a few people had started dancing but…we had other places to go.

A short walk down Longmarket Street took us to Tjing Tjing. The bar is above a very popular daytime eatery, Dear Me. Tjing Tjing recently opened a very stylish and intimate whisky bar. My natural instinct was to camp at the whisky bar for the night but whisky would have to wait. Stepping up into what is one of Cape Town’s best rooftop bars is a treat. The bar was very busy with a varied crowd, hipsters to bachelorette party people. Long beards and short skirts.

The drinks – we tried a margarita with Don Julio tequila and a Cosmopolitan with Ciroc Vodka. I confess to not being a big fan of Vodka. I like flavour. Vodka is a flavour neutral spirit. What to do? Focus on texture – a perfect texture is what I’m looking for in a premium spirit. Ciroc delivers silkiness on the palate that makes for a classy Cosmo. Tequila – well, I think there are three types: Those that have a place at student bars with a supply of salt and lemon; those that are “ja well no fine ok if you need to”; and those that should be sipped, slowly. Don Julio fits into the latter category. An appearance and texture similar to a decent whisky, it is perfect on its own and in a cocktail it is pretty damn good, thanks very much.

Next stop was the highlight – Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar. What began as a pop-up bar, a risky three-month experiment, is now one of Cape Town’s best venues for proper drinks. Try a Lawrence of Arabia, a Sir Lowry Vesper or just put yourself in the hands of the bar team and let them make your evening. A choice of around 200 different types of gin and variety of tonic waters, local, imported, traditional, craft – take your pick. The crowd – cool, sexy, dare I say quietly cultured?

Caitlin Hill, (ex-Orphanage), one of the owners, took care of us and yes, we experimented a bit with some of the more exotic gins. Mother’s Ruin caters to one of my core beliefs – that a Martini should be made with Gin, not Vodka, and with proper vermouth. At Mother’s Ruin there is a lot to believe in, such as the power of a passionate team producing perfect cocktails with premium products. I think Mother’s Ruin is ideal for a G & T after work, or pre or post dinner cocktails. Actually – spend the evening there, kick back, have something to drink, something to eat, chill a little. You deserve it.

12227197_1660139597557843_1027098441245543693_n

The final cocktail venue was Orphanage Cocktail Bar. Closed now and moving to Speaker’s Corner, Church Square, Orphanage was among the first mainstream high-end cocktail bars. Modern legends of the cocktail scene such as Nick Koumbarakis, Brent Perremore, Assaf Yechiel & Anil Sabharwal have worked at or had a hand in menu design and training at Orphanage.

I don’t know what we had but it was spectacular. The base was Tanqueray 10 but the remaining ingredients are a mystery. Assaf said “sit back, relax, and enjoy”, and we did. Aromas of juniper, orange, limes, grapefruit, mixed herbs leapt out the glass. A custom cocktail from one of South Africa’s best bartenders is a real treat. I’m looking forward to trying out the new Orphanage when it opens.

Conclusion – stick to the good stuff, go to the good places, put yourself in the hands of skilled bartenders and you’ll enjoy world-class experiences.

 

 

Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar

https://www.facebook.com/mothersruincpt

219 Bree Street, Cape Town 082 681 6601

Tjing Tjing

http://tjingtjing.co.za/tjingtjing/

Address: 165 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

n
 Phone:+27 21 422 4374

HQ

http://www.hqrestaurant.co.za

100 Shortmarket St, Cape Town, South Africa, 8001

Phone: 021 424 6373

Email: info@hqrestaurant.co.za

Orphanage

http://www.theorphanage.co.za

Was at 227 Bree St, and is moving to Speaker’s Corner, Church Square. +27 21 424 2004

 

 

 

A dram and a chat with Dr Kirstie McCallum of Burn Stewart

The phrase “Don’t drink and drive” appears on booze adverts around the world. While some liquor companies actively sponsor motor racing and other adrenalin inducing activities, I’d never before met a rally-driving distiller with a background in chemical engineering. But you see, if you hang around a whisky bar in the early afternoon you’re bound to meet interesting people.

Dr Kirstie McCallum is an interesting person. She has one of those “jobs” (and I use the term loosely) as a global brand ambassador, sharing her passion for excellent whiskies. I’m sure it can be tiring, all that travel, but you wouldn’t notice it. Kirstie abounds with enthusiasm for the whiskies she represents. Black Bottle, Scottish Leader & Bunnahabhain, different drams, different styles, all under the umbrella of Burn Stewart Distillers, now part of Distell, the South African company fast becoming a global liquor powerhouse.

I confess to more than a passing interest in the Distell range of whiskies, having presented them a few times and they make up part of my whisky selection. So what was new about that afternoon? Firstly, we had a frank discussion about topical and controversial subjects. Secondly, we tasted something very special. We caught up at the Waterfront, her stop in Cape Town before heading to Canada.

We started with the future – what after the Ambassadorial role? Kirstie said she wants to eventually move back into blending, but first she is enjoying the opportunity to engage with the consumer, to get a view of what the consumer wants to drink, what flavours they are looking for. Take for example, the new Black Bottle. The new expression includes Highlands and Speyside Malts, giving it a richer, rounder flavour, while maintaining the phenols of the original blend. Kirstie said smoke can be very polarizing, and this Black Bottle is more accessible. True. Smoke & the more medicinal peaty whiskies take some time to get into, but the journey is worthwhile. Over time, people seem to go towards, not away from, the smoke, which seems to envelop whisky lovers like a comforting early morning mist on a chilly morning.

Kirstie said that with Scottish Leader, people enter the range through Original and can stay within the brand and expand their horizons with the Signature. The latter contains more west coast malts, but still has the Deanston giving it a honeyed sweetness.

With the move towards NAS whiskies, do you think that what you are able to bring from the lab and your academic background will change how whisky is produced and aged?

No. It will never change aging, we need the casks, we need the angels share and we need the time. I know there has been talk about controlling the angel’s share. For me, if you try control the angel’s share, you affect how the whisky matures. It’s not very pleasant for us losing up to 2% a year to the angels, but it’s part of the maturation process. If you don’t have that interaction you wont have the whisky you want, you wont get the flavours from the wood and the surroundings. Aging takes away immature flavours. Having said that, our focus is always on the quality of the spirit, not the number on the bottle. We bottle our whiskies when they are at the optimum age.“

There is a lot of discussion about the SWA regulation prohibiting detailed information as to the composition of a blend, forbidding distilleries from specifying exactly what is in the bottle. What’s your view?

I’m ok with the way things are. You see, for me, that is the art of the blender. Our job is to able to know different whiskies, our job is to make sure that the blend is consistent. The blend may change slightly over time. You have to keep the mystery and romance and allow the blenders to use what they know is perfect for the blend.”

Time for a whisky…and Kirstie poured a Bunnahabhain Rubha A M’hail, an 11 year old powerhouse of a whisky, bottled at 57.4 ABV and matured in Manzanilla Sherry Butts. Bottled for the 2015 Islay Festival it is no longer available for sale. And that is a good thing, because sometimes when a whisky can no longer be bought, it is shared. My thoughts: massive sherry, citrus, slight oiliness (pleasant) on the palate, this is a whisky that needs lots of time in the glass, an afternoon to appreciate. I think it is superb!

The Burn Stewart range includes Black Bottle, Scottish Leader Original & Signature and Bunnahabhain 12, 18 & 25. They are all different, all great drams, there is something there for all occasions.

Spending an afternoon with Kirstie talking whisky – good work if you can get it;)

 

 

Here is the official CV: DR KIRSTIE MCCALLUM: ONE OF ONLY A FEW WOMEN IN WHISKY MAKING

 

Dr Kirstie McCallum (41), born in Glasgow, was one of the first women to become a whisky maker, a career she embarked on by accident. An analytical chemist by training, she is now the roving global brand ambassador for several award-winning Scotch whiskies, from the very select single malts such as Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Ledaig, to blended whisky brands, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader.

 

When she earned her doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University at the end of 1999, she initially planned to become involved in the pharmaceutical industry. However, when she was offered a short-term contract at a grain whisky distillery, she had unexpectedly found her ideal job. Falling in love with Scotch whisky and all its traditions and history she began her apprenticeship at Port Dundas Distillery in Glasgow, where she worked in the laboratory as a member of the technical team.

 

It was here that she was exposed to the sensory evaluation of spirits. It wasn’t long before she expanded her knowledge with a move to Chivas Brothers, where she was tasked with looking after whisky and rum, from blending to quality control at the company’s blending plant in Dalmuir (Glasgow). Within a year she was promoted to development chemist and laboratory manage. This took her to the heart of Scotland’s Speyside region. It was an ideal position from which to develop her conversancy with malt whiskies.

 

Then it was back to working across the entire spirits spectrum for a two-year spell, but this time as a scientist for Allied Distillers.

 

She joined Burn Stewart Distillers, now part of the Distell Group, as blender in 2007. One of only a handful of female blenders in the industry, she was fortunate to work alongside master blender Ian MacMillan. Under his mentorship, she learned about hand-selecting casks for single malts; became involved in looking after existing blended brands; and working on new blends, brand extensions and limited additions for the single malt ranges.

 

Armed with her impressive whisky-making skills, McCallum recently moved into an ambassadorial role. She now travels to leading markets across the world, educating trade and whisky enthusiasts in the nuances of Scotch whiskies, using the rich Scotch whisky portfolio of Distell as her examples. Whisky pairing with food is a highlight for her.

 

One of her favourite combinations is whisky and chocolate, especially Bunnahabhain 18-year-old with orange and clove-infused truffles. Another favourite is Bunnahabhain 25-year-old with toffee apple cheesecake, bramble compote, caramel salted ice cream and toffee sauce. The recipe comes from Scottish Michelin Star chef Geoffrey Smeddle. She has recently collaborated with him in developing a signature menu to complement the full range of Bunnahabhain range of single malts.

 

Her visit to South Africa in February this year was her first. Other recent destinations include Russia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the US.

 

An avid racing enthusiast, McCallum loves motor rallies. She lives in Glasgow.

 

GRANT’S RETURNS TO THE 2015 WHISKY LIVE FESTIVAL grantswhiskySA @whiskylivesa

Ok twitterers, it’s a busy time of year so let’s continue the momentum and share the love of whisky.  Here is something about Grant’s Whisky. I’ll have more for you tomorrow after lunch and a wee dram with, Rob Allanson, the global brand ambassador.

GRANT’S RETURNS TO THE 2015 WHISKY LIVE FESTIVAL

The world renowned and award winning blended Scotch whisky brand, Grants Whisky is proud to announce its return to the annual Whisky Live Festival taking place from 11 – 13 November in Sandton. Whisky enthusiasts can look forward to sampling the recently launched, premium variant, Grant’s Select Reserve as well as the award winning 18 Year Old, which will only be available for sale in South Africa in February 2016.

To help introduce these exciting two new variants along with the team of SA ambassadors is Global Grant’s Whisky Ambassador Rob Allanson, who will be available at the Grant’s stand between masterclasses. Lauren Kuhlmey, Grant’s Marketing Manager, Edward Snell comments, “It is truly an exciting time for Grant’s to once again stand proud amongst the other premium whiskies on offer at Whisky Live as we introduce these luxurious new variants. The full Grant’s range has received prestigious accolades and we are excited that our South African consumers will get a chance to enjoy these blends”.

Grant’s Whisky is produced by the award-winning independent family-owned distiller William Grant & Sons, who produce a range of cask finished and aged blended scotch whiskies. The range of whiskies include Grant’s Family Reserve, the world’s oldest and most popular family owned scotch whisky, Grant’s Select Reserve, a stand out blend with an unmistakable sweet yet rich and peaty flavour, and Grant’s 18 year old, a blend of the finest single malt and grain whiskies matured to perfection for 18 years or longer in oak casks then finished in port casks.

For more information visit www.grantswhsiky.co.za or follow @grantswhiskySA twitter