Saturday, 26 July 2008

Chivas Brothers attains unprecedented success at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard, has achieved unprecedented success at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) with a record number of accolades.

The Red Heart Rum "Win a Ford Ranger" Competition has a winner

Red Heart Rum recently "championed another heart" as the key to a brand new Ford Ranger Super Cab, valued at R200 000, were handed over to Paul Strydom, the lucky winner of the "Red Heart Win-a-Ford Ranger" competition.

Red Heart Rum was introduced into South Africa in the early 1930's and quickly became South Africa's number 1 selling rum - a position it holds to this day. Red Heart is simply the taste of rum.

Jameson sponsors the Vodacom Durban July VIP Fashion Lounge for the third consecutive year

Jameson Whiskey, a premium brand in the drinks giant Pernod Ricard's portfolio, hosted, for the third consecutive year, a glittering, glamorous bash at the annual Vodacom Durban July, arguably the most talked-about and widely-attended social gathering among racing fans, socialites and trend-setters alike.

The Durban Spar Whisky & Jazz Festival

The Durban leg of the "Spar Whisky & Jazz Festival" was held from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th July 2008 at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment world which in itself has become a landmark in Durban.

Once again all major whisky distributors were present and the paying whisky enthusiasts were spoilt with an exceptional array of the world's leading whiskies.

Jameson whiskey was as popular at this show as it turned out to be at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition where it was awarded a Double Gold. A real treat for visitors at the Durban "Spar Whisky & Jazz Festival" was the opportunity to sample a reserve Jameson Gold whiskey.

Chivas Brothers showcased the "Chivas Regal" 12 and 18 year old whiskies; the "The Glenlivet" single malt whisky range and the "Royal Salute" 21 year old and "100 Cask Selection".

As usual Chivas Regal 12 year old stole the show and surprised all that it cost no more than other 12 year old whiskies. The Prince of Whiskies will always be "the Chivas Regal of Scotch". The Chivas Regal 18 year old is in the style of the younger 12 year old but older and smoother with a richer and lightly peated silky palate.

The "The Glenlivet" stole hearts with the 15 year old French Oak Reserve and the 16 year old "Nadurra" gained many fans while the 12 year old was revisited by many fans familiar with its fame. The Glenlivet is the whisky that started it all - the first licensed distillery in Scotland, the first whisky to use the term "Single Malt" and the whisky to establish the "Speyside" region from where the top 10 selling single malt whiskies come from. As all world famous whisky writers proclaim: "The Glenlivet is the quintessential single malt against which all other single malts are measured".

The Royal Salute whiskies were admired and desired but not offered for tasting. The youngest offering in the Royal Salute range starts with 21 year old which is followed by the collectable limited release 100 Cask Selection. The 100 cask selection is followed by the 38 year old Stone of Destiny and finally the top of the range is capped with the solid gold and 'hallmarked' silver labelled 50 year old.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Life's little sentences

A friend of mine placed a small booklet in front of me, that he had received in the post, and said in a matter of fact manner that the booklet was my kind of scene, not his. I was 25 at the time. It would be many years later before I realised how little moments in life filled with little sentences influence us.

I picked up the booklet and flipped to a page and read the scripted sentence: "The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother." There were may other sentences in the little booklet though I do not remember any other sentence. That one sentence influenced my married life so profoundly. I am still married to the mother of my out-of-home children.

The other day my nephew, Charl, invited many people to their sons christening. They wanted all the people he and his wife imagined would drift in and out of their sons life present. People who would be their sons "anchors and harbours" over the highs and lows that would face him throughout his lifetime. They wanted all invited guests, friends and family to realise how much responsibility we, and they, collectively carried in bringing up and influencing Callum. I was the first nominated to stand up and say something. I repeated the sentence I read 21 years earlier that had guided me through married life.

Today I sent and SMS to a friend I will also forward to my nephew Charl, it reads quite simply: "To a child LOVE is spelt T.I.M.E." I think I should have spent more time with my children who are now 22 and 19 respectively. I am now 47.

I know that we are born wise to good and evil and we choose a road consciously. I think there are many sentences that guide us in life - heard and read and sometimes imposed. I pray wisdom guides each of us to choose the road best suited for those we love and not for our self love. Let us not expect gratitude nor remembrance. Be grateful for those who have come into our lives. Let us not attempt to own or control another's soul. Let us love those we love unconditionally. Let us therefore understand that we must not control or limit those souls who share this world with us. Allow each soul you meet to glow gloriously.

Remain humble and refrain from arrogance. And sometimes it is good to be deep.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The "bargain" Tops at Spar Whisky Festival.

The "Tops at Spar Whisky & Jazz Festival" was from Thursday 10 July 2008 and Friday 11 July 2008. The Thursday evening started at 6 p.m. sharp and kept "slow". Attendance reached 257 people the first evening. All in all it was a routine kind of evening without the thrill that "busy' gets on a good evening.
Opening ticket sales on the Friday exceeded 300 people. The evening became extremely busy and the hall seemed to small at times. A great evening.
The R75 per head it cost one to gain entry into the hall of whiskies gave one an incredible (and never to be repeated) array of whiskies that one would otherwise never get the opportunity to taste. Of all the whisky festivals in South Africa this was far and away the "best bargain" whisky festival I have ever attended.
Next year I would like to see some changes:
1) A Tops at Spar price-list of the whiskies available at the show.
2) The ability to buy the product on the night.
3) A coupon system for each tot to limit people from over-indulgence
4) A coupon system to reimburse the suppliers for their very expensive stock.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Knysna Whisky & Jazz Festival

The Festival

I have just returned from The Knysna Whisky & Jazz Festival which was held on Saturday 7 July. The major whisky houses of Chivas Brothers with Chivas Regal 12 and 18 year old, Irish Distillers with Jameson and Jameson Gold, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Famous Grouse, Black Bottle, Bunnahabhain, Three Ships and some legendary Japanese whiskies we were represented.
The live jazz band jammed away as the 200 visitors were enchanted by the golden nector and trays of mouthwatering gourmet dishes.

A quick introduction to Knysna.

The town of Knysna started in 1804 when sir George Rex arrived in the area. The official founding date for Knysna is 1825. In 1851 it was declared a magistrate, and in 1881 a town. Alluvial Gold was found in 1885 in Millwood, about 15 km's outside of Knysna, deep into the indigenous Knysna forest. Knysna’s name probably originates from the Khoi word ”Xthuys Xna”, meaning ”the place where the wood is”. The current population estimate for Knysna is just short of 60,000. Knysna is a beautifull laid-back sea-side town on the east coast of South Africa. Knysna has great weather for most of the year and is a surfers paradise.

Friday, 4 July 2008

The Glenlivet Single Malt

What's in a name?

The Glenlivet Single Malt whisky states that it is "the single malt whisky that started it all". There is one obvious fact why this claim is made. The Glenlivet is the first licensed distillery in Scotland. That is part of the answer. The Glenlivet is the first whisky to coin and use the term Single Malt whisky on it's label and the first to establish Speyside as a region.

Today The Glenlivet is universally recognized as the benchmark single malt against which all other malts are measured. Not only is The Glenlivet made in the Speyside region which is the 'champagne' producing region for whisky in Scotland, but the distillery is in the heart of Speyside.

Today The Glenlivet is America's leading Single Malt.

Aberlour single malt whisky

Whiskies are my passion. Speyside whiskies are a particular love and most of all I love the most internationally awarded single malt (not because of the many awards),  because Aberlour Single malt is simply superb.

I introduced Aberlour to a group of trendsetters in Cape Town. So impressed were these fine living gentlemen that they promptly ordered an entire cask from the Aberlour distillery. This is not a cheap exercise but the reward was more than enough. The casks total content was bottled into 250 x 750ml bottles and delivered to South Africa. The majority of the bottles were sold to collectors due to the unique personalized labels.

So passionate were these trendsetters and the followers of the trendsetters that Aberlour became a leading poured whisky in many of the high fashion outlets attended by these Aberlour fans.

Aberlour 10 year old is available in South Africa.