Yes, it was a great launch. You can read the PR release below. I’d like to share my thoughts about the whisky and the launch. You see, I love whisky and I am 49 years old. I confess that the music was a bit lost on me but most people there enjoyed the whisky and were dancing like there was no tomorrow!

There seems to be a pattern developing with Distell events, where guests arrive at a venue and are greeted by great drinks and spectacular surroundings. After the initial introductions, another part of the venue opens up to reveal something even more special: better drinks and wow, whoever does the designs for these events is a genius! The pattern works very well and the reaction of the guests is always special to observe.


Let’s chat about the whisky. The Scottish Leader range is well priced and offers a lot more malts in the blends than whiskies in that price bracket. The Signature is one of my daily favourites and is extremely complex. With the launch of the 12-year-old, the brand has introducing a whisky with a 12-year-old age statement but is accessible to those new to whisky, or wanting to delve slowly into the plus 10-year-old age bracket. The whisky is light and easy to drink, perfect for our warm South African climate. It is not as complex as some of the other whiskies in the same age bracket, but it was not designed to be. It was created for a particular market and is perfectly suited to it. Quite often we may feel like a dram with an age statement but don’t want to be overwhelmed.

I think the whisky will do well in the South African market and encourage people looking to get into older whiskies to give this a try.

A final word on the food – Dish Food and Andrea Foulkes -world class, again.



The who’s who of Jozi attended the awe-inspiring #NewLeaderLaunch of Scottish Leader’s limited release 12-year-old blended Scotch whisky, new to the South African market.

Held at 1 Fox in Newtown, the event featured popular South African comedian Trevor Gumbi as MC, donning a kilt! And none other than the fabulous Thando Thabethe of 5FM’s The Thando Thabooty Show as DJ.

On arrival, guests enjoyed refreshing Scottish Leader cocktails, and delicious canapés served by unseen waitrons through artfully constructed holes in a tasting wall.

There were also a few other surprises in store: on arrival guests were given a random number, enabling them to participate in a fun and interactive game dubbed #TheLeaderHunt. Clues relating to Scottish Leader and its new luxuriously rich 12-year-old blend were scattered around the event space, forming part of the decor. As Gumbi explained the format of the game, guests joined their respective groups, indicated by the number they received on arrival at the venue.

Each group then had to search for and solve a clue relating to their group number, tweet the answer using #TheLeaderHunt, and tagging Scottish Leader. A live feed of all Twitter interaction was shown on two screens, with a separate large screen featuring an image puzzle. Each clue solved revealed a part of the on-screen image puzzle, ultimately revealing the new Scottish Leader 12-year-old bottle. Completion of the full image activated the big screen to split apart, with clever animation, lights and smoke adding to the drama, and providing guests access to the next part of the evening.

Guests were then treated to a formal tasting of Scottish Leader 12-year-old, presented by South Africa’s ‘Mr Whisky’, Pierre Meintjes. He is a Master of the Quaich, one of only 160 in the world. This title is bestowed only on those recognised for their outstanding service and loyalty to the Scotch whisky industry.

Tasty tapas were served after the tasting, from two “live” food stations, prepared by the talented chefs of Dish Food & Social. Delicious whisky cocktails were also on offer, as well as Scottish Leader Signature, enjoyed any way guests chose to.

The final act for the night, also a surprise, was a sublime performance by the super talented Kyle Deutsch, a 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards winner, and well-known producer Sketchy Bongo. At one point, they were even joined on-stage by rapper Big Star Johnson to deliver an unforgettable last act for the evening.

Famous street-style and fashion photographer, Cedric Nzaka of Everyday People Stories, captured striking images of guests dressed to the nines. To view his work, follow him on Instagram (@EveryDayPeopleStories).

Find out more about Scottish Leader by visiting its new website:

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Join the conversation using: #NewLeaderLaunch #NewPerspective