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.


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 or follow @grantswhiskySA twitter

Glen Grant Fiodh: 10 decanters…travel retail only. Read this and salivate!

I’m in Jozi at the moment preparing for 3 nights of Whisky Live where I’ll be at the Glen Grant stand. Now I’ve been very fortunate to have enjoyed the Glen Grant 50 at the Distillery. A new expression from the last year that Glen Grant used peated malt, has been released. Have a look at the press release below. And please, if you happen to find a bottle, come visit me;)


Glen Grant®most premium ever whisky, Glen Grant Fiodh, launched in Singapore for DFS Group’s Masters of Wine & Spirit


To mark its participation at the DFS Group’s fifth Master of Wines and Spirits retail event in Singapore in November, Glen Grant® has created a special 10-piece collection of a single malt whisky of outstanding quality and rarity.

Together with DFS, Glen Grant launches a new collection that pays tribute to the journey of the Back Burn river – in 2016 a special thanks will be made for all the trees that have grown due to the blessing of the water from the Back Burn river. The Glen Grant Fiodh ( ‘wood’ in Gaelic) is the first of a series of luxury single malt scotch whiskies and will hero the wood in which the precious liquid is matured.

Glen Grant Fiodh is bottled from a cask filled in 1972, the last year that Glen Grant used peated malt. In the intervening years, the cask remained undisturbed and almost forgotten until it was rediscovered earlier this year with less than 20 precious litres remaining.

As is fitting for such a particular whisky, the single malt is presented in a packaging of exceptionally high quality. The bottles are nestled in a hand-crafted casket of wood, cut from the same tree at the front and the back of the casket and fashioned to evoke the shape of the tree. Each of the ten decanters feature a hand-engraved pattern representing the rings of a tree, each one unique to each of the 10 decanters. Stoppered with solid wood embellished with pure silver and gold, the bottle is designed to appeal to collectors and connoisseurs alike.

“This new whisky is our rarest and most sought after product to date,” says Leigh Irvine, GTR Director of Gruppo Campari, “it is the most exquisite Whiskey Glen Grant has ever produced. We are honoured to partner with DFS in this year’s Master of Wines and Spirits event, and we are sure this new collection will be the first in an exciting and innovative series.””


Move. Quickly. It is here and tomorrow it will be gone. @threeshipswhisky @jsdistillery #PXfinish

A giant moves slowly, carefully, because it knows that each step has a major impact on its surroundings. Over the past few years local whisky lovers have been treated to superb whisky coming out of the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Cape. Distell own the distillery and a whole lot more. It is a giant in the liquor world. And it moved, giving South Africa something new, perhaps changing the face of whisky in South Africa.

We’ve enjoyed single grain, single malt, bourbon cask finish and wondered what was coming next. Master Distiller Andy Watts said he and his team were working on a few things but couldn’t give us details.

The hashtag #Distellareyoulistening was coined during a conversation on twitter between Marsh Middleton and Mark Hughes, @letstalkwhisky ‪@fr1day respectively. Whisky lovers wanted Distell to do something different. The Scottish whisky world has a history of a few hundred years it can look back on, but South Africa has only been producing whisky for 40 years. It does not have the whisky heritage Scotland has, nor does it have the shackles of the past. It can innovate, and it has.

The result (and the first of a few new products, I hope) is a 10-year-old Three Ships whisky, with the spirit drawn from different bourbon casks and then finished in a Pedro Ximinez cask for 14 months. Maturation in a cask that previously held a sweet, dark, dessert sherry gives the whisky rich fruit flavours and a deep colour. I was fortunate to have a taste during lunch at the Waterfront, where Andy took us (personally and by video) through his thought process.  The whisky is complex but not overly so, which makes the whisky accessible to a range of whisky lovers.

The highlight of the lunch was sharing the whisky with Andy @jsdistillery, Patrick @whiskydotcoza, Shane @whiskymagsa, Leah @Leahvandeventer & Wayne @waynewolmarans.

The whisky is being sold in a unique way, from noon on the 27th October, online. There are only 800 bottles. I think they will sell out tomorrow. Visit to register. The details are below in the official press release.

This is a major step in the history of whisky in South Africa and South African whisky. Well done Andy & Distell. Now…what’s next?

Bernard Gutman

Cape Town


Three Ships Single Cask Single Malt PX Finish 10 YO 01

Three Ships Whisky, the pioneer of the South African whisky industry, has made history yet again with the launch of a rare single-cask single malt whisky to showcase the extraordinary whisky crafted at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington.

Only 800 bottles of the Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX Finish whisky, bottled by hand and numbered, have been released by master distiller Andy Watts. Distilled in 2005, the whisky was initially matured for eight years and ten months in American oak where after a small quantity was selected to spend a further 14 months in a cask in which Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry had previously been matured.

Presented in its purist form, the whisky is un-chillfiltered, natural in colour and bottled at 46.2% alcohol by volume to enhance the complexity and flavours of this elegant malt.

Says Andy: “Local whisky lovers have long been asking me to produce something extra special and while cask finishes have been produced for many years around the globe, it was time for Three Ships to make history for the South African whisky industry. Although the challenges presented by different cask finishes have occupied us for a number of years, we didn’t want to release a new whisky just to satisfy the demand. The product had to be right in every aspect and I believe what we have here was certainly worth the wait.”

Andy experimented with various casks for a few years before selecting the PX for the particular effect it has on whiskies with a presence of smoke and peat. “Pedro Ximenez is a white Spanish wine grape varietal used for the production of a sweet-style sherry. The raisiny richness it imparts to the cask was the perfect finishing touch I wanted to complement the smokiness of our single malt with some sweet, nutty flavours.”

Andy selected only a small percentage of the limited edition Three Ships single malt he had been working on at the time (due for release in 2016) to spend a finishing period in a single PX cask.

“The end result has not disappointed and the decision to produce only one cask has turned this whisky into a very rare collector’s item.”

The Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX finish is complex with delicate sweet notes from the sherry cask which lifts the nose with prunes, dates, figs and fruitcake and combines effortlessly with the elegant smokiness of the malt. The whisky is powerful and lingering in its taste and finish.

Available from 27 October only online at, Norman Goodfellows, Whisky Brother and The limited edition will retail for about R850.

Festive season whisky happiness from @GrantsWhiskySA

I love the build up to the holiday season as this is the time the whisky companies try make everyone happier than usual.  Have a look at this press release from the @butterknife team and pop round to your local liquor store to get two of these whisky and glass sets. Wrap both, give one as a gift to a friend and one as a gift to yourself. You know you deserve it!


This festive season, Grant’s whisky celebrates shared success with their limited edition Christmas pack. Presented in a stylish gift box, which includes a Grant’s Family Reserve and double glass set, ready for you to share a delicious dram with friends. Available from November at selected liquor stores nationwide, retailing from R 144.99.

Grant’s is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. Drink responsibly.

For more information, visit the Grant’s Facebook page on or follow them on twitter @GrantsWhiskySA and on Instagram @grantswhiskysa

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Glen Grant 50 – It’s time to go shopping!

Well now whisky lovers, here’s an idea…how about going to Makro to buy a whisky or two and enter a competition to win one of the greatest whiskies I’ve ever tasted. At 50 years old, It’s one of the few remaining whiskies that is older than me…by a couple of years. Roundabout this time last year I was at the distillery with Dennis Malcolm and a merry mob of whisky lovers from South Africa. Take it from me, the 50 year old is a magnificent work of art. So when I got this press release a few days ago, I thought…do I share it, or do I keep it to myself and try buy out all the Makro stock. Sanity prevailed, and I don’t think my whisky budget extends to all the Glen Grant stock at Makro. So here it is. Go now, go shopping.

And good luck.

To the eventual winner…please, whisky is best enjoyed when shared with friends. Old and new. Like me.


Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch whisky is running a promotional campaign in partnership with Makro that gives consumers a chance to win a bottle of the Glen Grant 50 Year Old, worth R200 000.

Only 150 bottles of the special edition 50 Year Old have been made available for sale around the world and only 10 of these bottles are available in South Africa.

In October 1963, a young Dennis Malcolm started working on the special edition when he hand filled a cask, without being aware that this liquid gold would shape his destiny. It would slowly mature for 50 years until it reached its zenith; ready to be presented to the world.

“I have protected and cared for this barrel for 50 years, letting it breathe and patiently waiting for the magic and interaction of whisky and wood,” says Master Distiller, Dennis Malcom.

This liquid gold is presented in a hand-blown crystal glass decanter – unique and handcrafted in every sense. Each piece is hand engraved, hand numbered and finished with the number 50 in 18-carat gold lettering. It is housed in a handmade copper-lined Scottish oak box, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity that is signed by Dennis Malcolm and every craftsman involved.

Whisky enthusiasts are able to win a bottle of the limited edition Glen Grant 50 year old between 15 July and 15 September, when purchasing a Glen Grant product in one of Makro’s 19 stores. The entry mechanism is simple:
· Purchase one bottle of Glen Grant Major Reserve for R219,95 – receive 1 entry
· Purchase one bottle of Glen Grant 10YO for R389,95– receive 2 entries
· Purchase one bottle of Glen Grant 16YO for R759,95 – receive 3 entries

Make sure that you swipe your Makro Access card to be entered into the competition.

Twitter: @GlenGrantSA”

An adventurous lunch, Madagascar style, with @threeshipswhisky @jsdistillery @riaanmanser

There is a little island off the west coast of Scotland, called Islay. There is a much larger island off the east coast of Africa, called Madagascar. In whisky circles, Islay is renowned for producing whiskies with a smoky aroma, the result of peat being used in the production process. Madagascar, well, is quite beautiful and is doesn’t produce any whisky. What it does is provide a place for nature lovers and adventurers to explore. What’s all this got to do with whisky, you may ask? The occasion was the launch of a Three Ships competition where the winner gets the opportunity to kayak around Madagascar with Riaan Manser and Andy Watts.

Who are these two? Riaan is an adventurer who sat on a rock in Newlands Forest. He swapped the rock and corporate life for a bicycle seat and cycled around Africa. Yes, in simple terms he hopped on his bicycle and starting in Cape Town cycled around Africa along the coast back to Cape Town. He has also gone around one of the islands off Madagascar by kayak, so his been there, done that and now wants to take you with him. Andy is the man who makes Three Ships whisky, we know of many awards, including best blended whisky in the world and in his former life, was pretty handy with a cricket bat.

The venue for the launch was upstairs at Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street Cape Town. The Distell team took over the top section of the venue, installed a superb chef, and invited an assortment of foodies, bloggers and whisky folk to attend the launch. The theme was Madagascar and on arrival guests were treated to a whisky cocktail made with Three Ships and vanilla. Riaan entertained us with stories of his cycle around Africa, his trip to New York via the whole of the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, he decided to hop in a rowing boat and row from Cape Town to New York with his girlfriend. Andy told us some of the stories about Three Ships, the next release of the 10 year old Single Malt (watch this space) and the care and dedication that goes into the spirit while the chef, who doubles up as a stand up comedian explained how he brought the flavours of Madagascar into the meal. Here’s where things got quite weird, if they hadn’t got weird before. One of the quirks about Madagascar cuisine is that as it is a very poor country, they use absolutely everything including, it seems, the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot. To this they add water and there is a soup called burnt rice soup. It’s not something that us living here at the tip of Africa would be used to. Thankfully the menu for the day was more extensive and much more palatable, one of the more successful whisky pairings I’ve attended. Kudos to Johnny Hamman, who achieved fame through Kokkedoor, and can quite easily embark on a second career as a stand up comedian if he ever needs to!

Andy took us through the whiskies for each course, perfectly paired, my favourite combination being the Three Ships bourbon cask finish with the dessert. Here’s a bit of inside info: the bourbon cask with anything that involves honey, cream or ice cream is superb. It is one of the best whiskies to enjoy with dessert.

The newest release of the ten-year-old single malt is expected round about November this year. I had a sneak preview of that expression when it was featured at a private tasting in Johannesburg last year. It’s a whisky that is going to make the rest of the whisky making and drinking world sit up and take notice as it is unlike any of the previous releases and something with a flavour that seasoned whisky drinkers will enjoy.

Photos to follow…


And part two of the Grant’s Whisky instalment of the day….


From May 2015, South African whisky enthusiasts can further explore the Grant’s rich history of stories and craftsmanship, with the exciting debut of the brand’s premium blend, the Grant’s Select Reserve.

Grant’s Select Reserve is a stand out blend with an unmistakable sweet yet rich and peaty flavour. Like no other in its class. Hand-picked whiskies that create a delicious multi-layered whisky with hints of fresh fruits, subtle spices and light peat smoke all enveloped in a vanilla sweetness. The finish is long lasting with a lingering smoky sweetness.

Lauren Kuhlmey, Grant’s SA Marketing Manager, comments: “This is truly an exciting period for us as we introduce this unique blend in the Grant’s Family. We believe that Grant’s Select Reserve is a premium, yet accessible offering in the blended whisky category and we hope that this new variant will set a high benchmark in the South African market. “

Grant’s Select Reserve 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 Cask Editions, created by ‘finishing’ Grant’s Family Reserve in either ale or sherry casks before bottling and Grant’s 12 Year Old is the only blended whisky to spend an extra finishing period in American oak casks, producing a full bodied scotch of exceptional richness.

The Grant’s Select Reserve will be available to the South African Market from end MAY 2015, retailing at approximately R279.95 nationwide.”

Whisky round the world viewed from Cape Town


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