Joburg – your turn now for @wadebales @bunnahabhainSA Whisky & Wine

Last week I had the pleasure of talking whisky for a couple of nights at the Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky affair at the superb 15 on Orange hotel in Cape Town. It’s a great event with special wines and of course, whisky…malt only! I like the intimacy of the Wade Bales events and chatting with my fellow presenters, some of whom have been in the business almost as long as I’ve been around. One of the true legends is Pierre Mentjes, the genial giant who is the face of Bunnahabhain Whisky in South Africa.  The marketing folk coined the phrase “the gentle taste of Islay” to describe Bunnahabhain. It makes sense as Bunnahabhain doesn’t have the peat reek whisky folk know from the rest of the Islay malts. It also makes sense as Pierre is one of the true gentlemen of whisky and it’s a real treat to have him pour you a dram and chat about whisky. Go visit – it is a great event, with great people and great drinks.


Whisky enthusiasts will have an opportunity to sample Bunnahabhain’s sought-after Islay single malts at this year’s Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky Affairs in May in Johannesburg.

Award-winning* Bunnahabhain will be represented at the events by Mr Whisky himself, Pierre Meintjes. Considered not only a leading whisky authority in South Africa, but internationally, he is one of just 159 Masters of the Quaich worldwide, an honour bestowed by the Scottish whisky industry. He is the only South African to hold the title, in recognition of his contribution to the category.

Meintjes will present the 12-, 18- and 25-year-old expressions of Bunnahabhain, made by master distiller Ian MacMillan.

Bunnahabhain has developed something of a cult following amongst aficionados, for the relative rarity of its whiskies and their singular flavour that is quite unlike the peaty, smoky single malts traditionally associated with Islay.

The distillery is the only one on the island to use a natural spring water source and unpeated barley. Without the influence of the local peaty moors, the malts are far lighter on the palate than their Islay counterparts.

They are also un-chillfiltered in a return to a very traditional technique that gives rise to a rich depth of colour, aroma and flavour – as natural as when they come out of the cask.

The experiences are curated by Wade Bales, an influential tastemaker in connoisseur circles, who has chosen the brand for his exclusive line-up of luxury wine and whiskies. He has deliberately restricted the number of drinks on exhibition to ensure guests a focused, intimate experience, enhanced by a dedicated food area.

He has also launched a new app to let consumers learn more about the wines and whiskies on show and to rate, share and buy those they enjoy.

Johannesburg: Thursday, May 28, 18:00 to 21:00, The Firs, Rosebank
Friday, May 29, 18:00 to 21:00, The Firs, Rosebank

For more information, call 021 794 2151, or to buy tickets, go to”