Friday, November 26, 2010

Give than man a Bell’s!

Tell us why your friend deserves a Bell’s and we’ll send him two.

We have 3 prizes of a bottle each of Bell’s Extra Special and Bell’s Special Reserve to give away to a chosen friend of anyone in South Africa who sends us a winning story. 

Send us a tale that persuades us that your friend is a worthy recipient of Bells. We will choose 3 winning entries and send the hamper to the winners friends, anywhere in the country. And we expect the friends to share a wee dram with their friends. Responsibly, of course.

Add a dash of humour and a block of cool to your story (50 to 300 words)  and email me at

Competition closes noon SA time on Thursday 2nd December. 

This is only for people 18 and older, and not for anyone employed by or related to Brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Ltd, their agencies or consultants. Not for sale to persons under the age of 18. Please drink responsibly.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whisky and glitz go quite well together and if the team from  get involved, you know there will be a party of note. Add men’s fashion from and ladies fashion from Callaghan, a generous dram or two of in the hotel and you have the recipe for a great night.

Here is the official press release and a couple of photos.

Press Release

19 November 2010
The One and Only came alive last Thursday with the Fabiani and Callaghan Fashion Party of the Year. Models, celebrities, media and the big wigs in the corporate world flocked to the hotel to celebrate the fashion house’s spring/summer collection. Guests were served the distinguished Chivas Regal on arrival and posed for pictures on the red carpet before being escorted into the lavish hotel.

The A-list crowd then mingled and nibbled on delicious food from the esteemed Reuben’s and internationally acclaimed Nobu. Shortly afterwards the male models, dressed smartly in Fabiani suits, made their grand entrance at the top of the stairs in the foyer while the stunning girls from Callaghan made their elegant entrance by the Vista Bar. After posing in the Fabiani and Callaghan lounges, the models dispersed to interact with guests, 3 of which received a ToyWatches. Guest also had the opportunity to pose in the Leica booth and capture their favourite moment of the night.

Some of the celebrities who attended were Herschelle Gibbs, Tracy McGregor, Gina Athens, Michelle Mclean, Nicky Greenwall as well as international celebrities Anna Friel (Lead actress in Pushing Daisies & BLOCK BUSTER MOVIE with WILL FERREL) - Land Of The Lost, Raoul Bova (From the movie Under The Tuscan Sun) & Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's who flew in from NEW YORK especially for the party.

Special thanks to Chivas, Fashion Choreographer -Deon Redman, ToyWatch, from the One&Only Hair Salon, The Big Issue Make-Up Academy, Carol from Cavendish Square, Lindt, Leica, Carol from Coda, Dino Moran, Mandy & Peter Lumb, Rikki’s Taxis, and Wings Group for the incredible treats.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Van Ryn’s distillery close to Stellenbosch has just earned its third consecutive Best Brandy trophy at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge in London. This time, the honours for producing the world’s best brandy went to the 15 Year Old Fine Cask Reserve. 

Said Neil Mathieson, competition category chairman for cognac, armagnac and brandy entries: “Awarding the Best Brandy Trophy was a very hard choice this year, given the excellence of the products submitted and the very high marks they achieved. In the end the decision to award the trophy to Van Ryn's 15 Year Old was made in recognition of its great length, subtlety and depth of flavour.”

Mathieson, who is a world authority on international brandies and other grape-based spirits, and the founder and managing director of Eaux de Vie, a specialist spirits importer, based in the UK, believes South African brandies are becoming the standard-bearer for quality aged brandied produced outside the AOC regions of France.

In 2008 and 2009, it was the Van Ryn's 12 Year Old Distillers Reserve that was voted the best by the panel of ISC spirits specialists.

Van Ryn’s has also brought home the Worldwide Best Brandy trophy from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) three times, making it a total of six times that the distillery has been judged to produce the best.

Adele Ankiewicz, global marketing manager for Van Ryn’s said: “These results demonstrate a remarkable consistency of performance and are a reflection of South African brandy excellence. The Van Ryn’s Brandy Collection is an international quality leader, setting the benchmark for the finest brandies in the world. It deftly combines exuberant, generous fruitiness with elegance and finesse and offers an exciting taste profile for spirits connoisseurs.”

This year’s ISC Best Brandy winner was voted the best in its class at the IWSC and won a gold medal.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's new at Festival this year.

  •  Purchase a bottle of Laphroaig, visit the stand to learn how you can claim your very own piece of Scotland, a square foot of land at the Laphroaig distillery in Islay. At the same time, enter the Laphroaig competition and stand a chance of winning a trip for two to Scotland. You can also sample the Laphroaig 18 year old – which will be available in South Africa for the first time at the festival.
  • Purchase a bottle of Maker’s Mark, take it to the stand and dip it in its trademark red wax. This special bottle will also have a label stating that it was dipped by you at Whisky Live Festival!
  • Sample a “home grown” dram:  Moritz Kallmeyer, owner and distiller the Draymans Highveld Single Malt Whisky, will be launching the first ever Single Malt produced and matured entirely on the Highveld of South Africa.
  • Tantalise your taste buds: The Pick ‘n Pay Food and Whisky Pairing Zone is showcasing the fine art of pairing the sublime flavours of whisky with the intricate taste of fresh oysters, salmon, handmade chocolates, Italian meats, chocolate, and French cheeses.
  • Meet the Master: Master Distiller, Dennis Malcolm of Glen Grant will be hosting two workshops every evening in Johannesburg, taking you through an interactive informal workshop on understanding the significance of copper stills in the whisky distillation process in the Glen Grant Distillation Zone.
  • Get into ‘the zone’: Global Ambassadors from The Macallan return to demonstrate the importance of wood in The Macallan Maturation Zone, which will provide visitors with a fascinating insight into the affect wood has on the colour and flavours of The Macallan range.
  • Whip up wicked whisky cocktails: The team from Schweppes and LiquidChefs will be returning with a bigger and more flamboyant whisky cocktail making area, challenging you to rustle up you own whisky cocktail creations.
  • Download the first ever festival app: The Whisky Live application, in association with CORE GROUP, the Apple Authorised distributors for Southern Africa, will be available to Whiskey Lovers soon. It can be downloaded onto iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads, will give you a comprehensive guide to the whiskies available for tasting, indicate where they are situated in the tasting hall and furthermore, categorise the whiskies by flavour, enabling you to discover more whiskies that suit your palate.
  • Meet Ian MacMillan, master distiller and blender of Bunnahabhain, a name synonymous with the best in single malts and experience a private tasting at the Cape Town festival. For the Johannesburg show, Ian will only be available for the first evening (10 November) after which esteemed whisky connoisseur and Master of the Quaich, Pierre Meintjes, will conduct the private tastings. MacMillan, who has over 35 years’ experience in whisky distilling and blending, will incorporate the rich history and unique characteristics of Bunnahabhain’s three single malts, which he produces on the Isle of Islay, during the private tastings. Bookings for the private tastings need to be made on the evening at the Bunnahabhain stand during Whisky Live.
  •  Go on...treat yourself! The much sought-after Lexus Whisky Lifestyle Lounge will once again provide the perfect setting for networking and client entertainment or simply meeting up with like-minded friends in relaxed and enjoyable surroundings. The lounge, which is situated within the Tasting Hall, will for the first time ever host the addition of The Whisky Boutique Bar, offering a selection of approximately six premium whiskies not available in the Tasting Hall.   This new unique deluxe whisky experience will be hosted by world whisky experts Rob Allanson, Editor of Whisky Magazine, and Dave Broom, international award winning whisky writer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Come and chat to....

Some of the more famous names in the Whisky World who are waiting to welcome you to the joys of the spirit…

Andy Watts              Three Ships & Bain’s Cape Mountain
Billy Walker              BenRiach
Gerry Tosh                Highland Park
Ian Logan                 The Glenlivet
Ian MacMillan           Bunnahabhain / Black Bottle
Jonathan Miles          Old Pulteney
Juliette Buchanan       Benromach
Karen Fullerton         Glenmorangie / Ardbeg
Pierre Meintjes          Bunnahabhain
Rob Samuels             Makers Mark
Robert Fleming           Tomintoul
Rob Allanson              Whisky Magazine
Rynard van Der Westhuizen                  Classic Malts, Johnnie Walker

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

COMPETITION TIME - Win a R 2500.00 value prize including tickets for Friday night and whisky.

Whisky Renegade Visits SA

Celebrity chef and whisky connoisseur Bruce Campbell challenges whisky-making traditions at this year’s FNB Whisky Live Festival

  This year’s FNB Whisky Live Festival will see international celebrity chef and whisky connoisseur, Bruce Campbell, introducing festival-goers to his revolutionary new approach to whisky-making. The “Bruce Campbell way” dispels all traditional methods of this age-old art, opting for more time saving and cost effective means of creating the ‘Water Of Life,’ as it was originally known.

Bruce was first made famous locally in brandhouse’s ‘Scotland From Home’ ad campaign which ran on local television and saw Bruce travelling throughout Scotland to educate some of the industry’s best known master distillers, blenders and distillery managers in the “Bruce Campbell way” of whisky-making (visit to see all the videos).

The “Bruce Campbell way” favours a number of new whisky-making methods including using plastic barrels instead of customary oak casks to mature the whisky (thereby effectively eliminating any evaporation that might take place during the maturation process) and drying the malted barley over a charcoal fire instead of the traditional, time-consuming method of smoking it in peat fires.

Bruce’s tongue-in-cheek methods may not produce whisky that is in any way palatable, but they have certainly caused a stir in the whisky-drinking community.

“What Bruce is doing,” says Rynard Van Der Westhuizen, brandhouse’s local whisky connoisseur, presenter and guru, “while saving a lot of time and money in the whisky-making process, ends up producing a liquid that tastes nothing like the real thing.”

 “There are no shortcuts in the time-honoured process of making whisky,” says Van Der Westhuizen, “the methods we’ve been using to make whisky have evolved over literally hundreds of years because they produce a liquid of exceptional character that is enjoyed throughout the world. Personally, I’ll be very interested to meet Bruce at the festival and see what he has to say, but anyone who follows his philosophy when it comes to making whisky is clearly missing the point entirely.”

Whether you’re a believer in the “Bruce Campbell Way” or not, his stay in the country promises to be an interesting one as he tackles traditions head on in his quest to create Scottish whisky from home.

Visit Bruce’s stand at this year’s FNB Whisky Live Festival where he will be regaling passersby with his whisky knowledge and giving away a whisky hamper worth R2500 to one lucky winner. The FNB Whisky Live Festival is taking place from the 3 – 5 November at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and 10 – 12 November at the Sandton Convention Centre in Jo’burg.

Not for Sale or available to Persons Under the Age of 18.  Drink Responsibly.

The question is: What type of wood must whisky be matured in?
Answers to before 9 on Friday morning.