Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year all - "Dinner For One" in Colour

There has been a tradition in South Africa for many years - our terrestrial television channel played this movie just before new years. Gets you into the spirit and spirits!

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 New Year one and all! See you in 2013,

Pernod Ricard launches "Connected" application

Pernod Ricard launched their new iPad/iPhone application, to always stay "connected" with the group. Please note that this video does not play on iPad tablets.

Download "Connected":

The Beankeeper Whisky Blog Of The Year 2012

I have left the best BLOG for last: the “Beankeeper's Whisky Blog Of The Year” is zany and happy and awesome. I only recently discovered this blog but it is so out there and so unexpected – so different – it's magical.

Beankeeper Whisky Blog of the year 2012: Bliss In A BarrelThe line immediately after her title is a quote from Martin Daraz (Brand Ambassador of Highland Park)"Whisk(e)y is a kick in the testicles with a hug at the end." 

Yes you read right - "her . . ." A woman wins the "Beankeeper's Whisky Blog Of The Year 2012".

This blog explodes with intelligence, creativity, raw talent, enthusiasm, innocence and FUN! I am humbled by the absolute pure passion L.T Do has for life and whiskey.

About this Blog as stated on the blog: “How-day! I drink and doodle whisky! : I hope you'll get a chance to try a bunch of whiskies and other spirits, too! Just remember that you don't have to destroy your liver when drinking. Be safe. Have fun.”
Her whisky reviews are brilliant. The picture below is directly from her blog and is the sole property of L.T. Do. All her whisky reviews are like this. Her drawings of the distilleries are legendary. I am now a member of 'Bliss In A Barrel'. I am a fan!

L.T. Do describes her location as ‘Bottom of a Barrel, California. She introduces herself with food, drink, other stuff and friends “After drinking some whisky or cocktails, I love to chow down to Mexican food, especially deep fried tacos. Her interests are: Whisk(e)y, Gin, Amaro Spirits, Mezcal, Cocktails, crafted cocktails, chocolate, mousse cakes, French pastries, Reading, Writing, Poetry, Sewing, Playing Music, hiking, making clothes, being with friends.” Her favourite music: Pink Martini, Radiohead, J.S. Bach and Sergie Rachmaninoff.

Her whisky reviews are brilliant, her distillery write ups beautiful and her liquor companies intro's unreal. Visit to see an example of this brilliant work

Okay so her music choice is obscure but heck I like Indie Rock!

Jameson First Shot 2013 - Kevin Spacey & Dana Brunetti talk about the rules

Jameson First Shot is coming around again in 2013. More details are discussed in this video below. You can watch three of these short films on YouTube as well.

2012 Jameson short films to view on YouTube,  are:

  1. 'The Ventriloquist' (USA, Excluding California)
  2. 'Envelop' (Russia) and
  3. 'Spirit of a Denture'. (South Africa)
The lead actor in all three 2012 short films is Kevin Spacey. In 2013 the lead actor in all three short films  will be Willem Dafoe.

Click on each short film name above to link to view the video on YouTube. All films are in collaboration with Kevin Spacey & Trigger Street Productions.

The Jameson Graduate Programme

The Jameson (Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard) Graduate Programme - Are You The Vital Ingredient. Jameson and Irish Distillers offer a fantastic annual opportunity to individuals who meet the requirements. The video will enlighten both the wishing to be employed as well as those employing young whiskey Graduates.

The Graduate Programme is an unbelievable opportunity for passionate young people prepared to travel the world.

A correction: Simon Fay quotes Jameson as being well over 3 million case brand internationally - since this video was made - Jameson now sells over 4 million 9L cases per annum.

Ralfy's whisky review 3 - Aberlour A'bunadh

Ralfy reviews my absolute favourite whisky in one of his earlier reviews. For further information about Ralfy, visit his website I am pleased to find another person who speaks so highly about the Aberlour  Single Malt Range and each expression.

Besides Aberlour A'Bunadh, Aberlour is available as a 10 year old, 12 year old, 16 year old and the very special 18 year old. Each expression is more special the older it gets.

Visit the Aberlour website at or just click link here.

One of the reasons Aberlour is so great is the fact that Aberlour's practises "Double Casking".
The whisky is matured separately in specifically selected ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry butts. When it comes to age, the whiskies from the two sets of casks is brought together for the first time and the different flavours and textures are merged. From this process of double casking emerges a single malt of immense complexity and generous character. This is a revelation for the enthusiast: a wide spectrum of flavours are discovered after every sip.

Ballantine's Shines in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible

I quote a few successes for some of my favourite whiskies from "Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013" (released October 2012). Ballantine's Finest & Jameson Irish Whiskey is readily available in South Africa from reputable outlets. You will find Redbreast 12 Year Old as well as Ballantine's 17 year old in leading premium liquor outlets but some searching will be necessary.

  • Scotch whisky of the year - Ballantine's 17 year old (also voted 'Scotch Blend of the year' & 'Best Blended Scotch' 13 - 18 years old)
  • Best Blended Scotch no age statement (Standard) - Ballantine's Finest
  • Irish Whiskey of the year - Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength (also voted Irish Pot Still whiskey of the year)
  • Irish Blend of the Year - Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jim Murray also votes 3 whiskies as the best three in the world no matter country of origin. The following whiskies are Jim Murray's top 3 for 2013.
  1. 2013 World Whisky of the Year - Buffalo Trace's 'Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 64.3% ABV'. (bottom left bottle)
  2. 2013 Second Finest whisky in the World -  Buffalo Trace's 'William Larue Weller 66.8% ABV'. (middle bottle)
  3. 2013 Third Finest Whisky in the World - Ballantine's 17 year old (right bottle)

Please read my previous blog for details on how to obtain Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013 or visit and click on 'Dram Good Book Shop".

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chivas Brothers "The Century of Malts"

The rare and collectable "The Century of Malts" Scotch Blended Malt Whisky is best described on the side of the box this precious whisky is packaged in. It reads:

"ONE HUNDRED SINGLE MALTS. This bottle contain 100 single malt Scotch whiskies - an unequalled collection. From the Highlands and the famous Spey Valley, the distant Islands, and the soft, harmonious Lowlands, a hundred ancient oak casks have yielded their treasure. The result is superb, of incomparable richness and age. Only the cellars of Chivas Brothers could produce such an historic tribute to the spirit of SCOTCH MALT WHISKY".

These are the 100 distilleries single malts Scotch whiskies in The Century of Malt: Aberfeldy, Aberlour, Allt a 'Bhainne, Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, Auchroisk, Aultmore, Balblair, Balmenach, Balvenie, Banff, Ben Nevis, Benriach, Benrinnes, Benromach, Blair Athol, Bowmore, (Royal) Brackla, Braeval, Brechin, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Caperdonich, Clynelish, Convalmore, Cragganmore, Craigduff, Craigellechie, Dailuaine, Dallas Dhu, Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Deanston, Dufftown, Fettercairn, Glen Albyn, Glenallachie, Glenburgie, Glencadam, Glen Craig, Glen Elgin, Glen Esk, Glenfarcles, Glenfiddich, Glengarioch, Glenglassaugh, Glen Grant, Glengoyne, Glenisla, Glen Keith, Glenkinchie, The Glenlivet, Glenlochy, Glenlossie, Glen Mhor, Glen Moray, Glenrothes, Glen Scotia, Glen Spey, Glentauchers, Glenturret, Glenugie, Glenury Royal, Highland Park, Imperial, Inchgower, Inchmurrin, Inverleven, Isle of Jura, Kinclaith, Knockando, Ladyburn, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ledaig, Linkwood, Littlemill, Longmorn, Macallan, Macduff, Mannochmore, Miltonduff, Mortloch, Mosstowie, Ord, Pittyvaich, Pulteney, Rhosdhu, Scapa, Speyburn, Springbank, Strathisla, Strathmill, Tamdhu, Tamnavulin, Teaninich, Tomatin, Tomintoul, Tormore and Tullibardine.

There you have it! If you know your distilleries you will notice that some of the distilleries listed have closed down or have been mothballed over time, making The Century of Malt even more special.

You may be wondering why Chivas Brothers have all these other distilleries single malts. All distillers procure other distilleries single malts each year as soon as the new spirit is put into cask. It is brought to their own warehouses to be stored in casks under their controlled and managed conditions to later be blended into their blended Scotch whiskies. There is no single company that owns 40 to 50 different single malts to blend into these blended Scotch whiskies. (Most reputable blended Scotch whiskies contain between 30 and 50 single malts in the blend).

Chivas Brothers hold the oldest stock of aged Scotch malt whiskies in the world today and are uniquely able to bottle many of the oldest expressions of whiskies in the world. This is the reason their whisky ranges are mostly age stated and of the most premium aged stated whiskies in the world. As an example, a brand like Ballantine's, which belongs to Chivas Brothers, has Ballantine's Finest as the standard expression, followed by the various age stated expressions 12 year old, 15 year old, 17 year old, 21 year old, 30 year old and 40 year old age whiskies

Included in the box is a booklet measuring a 95 mm x 75 mm. The booklet is titled " The One Hundred MALTS from Chivas Brothers" and is written by the famous Jim Murray of the Whisky Bible fame.The booklet was published in 1995, the same year this extremely precious whisky was bottled. (Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013 is available for purchase online at "The Dram Good Book Shop" for GBP12.99)

I was fortunate to get hold of three bottles of Century of Malt. After giving one away as a present and opening the next at a private whisky tasting, I realised how precious this whisky is. The taste is awesome and 'more-some' but I have resisted opening the third bottle because this is a collectors whisky not realised by serious collectors yet. The photo above is of my last sealed bottle of Century of Malt. It will remain in my collection.

Ralfy's whisky review 329 - whisky of the year 2012

I have listed as a 'beankeeper' favourite blog site. (Please check out the link page for further 'beankeeper' favourites). Visit his blog - you will not be disappointed.

This 'vlog' is Ralfy's final review for 2012 in which Ralfy reveals his whisky of the year. I will not spoil this for you by mentioning it here. I will say that I am happy its one of my top whiskies. Not my absolute favourite Aberlour Single Malt but at least it is also from my favourite Scotch whisky region of Speyside.

Speyside is to Scotch whisky what Cognac is to great brandy.

Please note that Ralfy excludes most whiskies being selected due to his qualifying criteria. Ralfy's selection criteria stipulates that:

  1. the whisky must be from Scotland,
  2. the whisky must be a Scotch Single Malt whisky and
  3. the whisky may not be chill filtered.
These qualifying criteria eliminates 99% of all whiskies. Only a limited numbers of Scotch Single malt whiskies do qualify. Not even Aberlour 10 year old Single Malt makes Ralfy's criteria cut.

Thanks Ralfy for all the reviews of the year. The video remains the property of and can be found on the YouTube website where you may view all other reviews.
The opinion expressed on are not the opinion of 'Beankeeper'.

Congratulations to the winner.

BBC Documentary - Addicted to Pleasure: Whisky

Hollywood actor Brian Cox hosts this informative BBC documentary about the history of Scotch whisky. There are a few inaccuracies, e.g. the first patent column still was patented by Anneus Coffee (an Irishman working as an excise man in Scotland at the time) - not the Stein family as stated in this documentary. There a few other inaccuracies but none detract from a quality documentary about aspects of whisky's past.

The 'Addicted to Please: Whisky" documentary is just short of 60 minutes, but is well worth the time.

The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch whisky features in this video based mainly on two facts, 1) it is the first licensed distillery in Scotland & 2) It is ordered by King George IV, the first gentleman of England, in 1822, two years prior to whisky being legal. The Glenlivet is favoured for it's quality and taste. It is requested by royalty, nobility and gentry at this time in history and remains a firm favourite to this day.

Note: Dewars & Bruichladdich are featured due to collaboration for this documentary. 

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Scotch - Ballantine's

I met Ballantine's Scotch Whisky ten years ago and I have remained a loyal supporter of the greatest blended Scotch whisky I still know. Ballantine's is Scotch and Scotland in a bottle for many reasons. Ballantine's is a honest legend and is the next whisky in the "Beankeeper" feature section.

The feature will include various expressions in the Ballantine's range. Ballantine's is a keeper.
The above clip is the property of the owner and is shared via YouTube.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012 with a message from 1914

To our brethren on Christmas Island who officially celebrate Xmas first on the planet, I trust all 1500 of you had one huge party. To the rest of the world who celebrate Xmas may happiness, cheer and joy fill your Xmas day.
The following clip is the trailer for the play "All Is Calm" based on the Christmas Truce of 1914. It is a powerful story in our history rarely told. It reminds me that we should share our commonalities and cherish our differences more. Have an awesome Christmas, one and all. Be safe!

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another (direct extract from Wikipedia)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Jameson Global Party March 2012 - Revisited

After you watch the YouTube clip I have linked in this article (see linked video below), you may appreciate why I have shared it with you.

Jameson consistently engages with creative geniuses.  Delerentos, one of the hottest bands in Ireland played the Jameson Global Party on 17 March 2012. Check out their interview and acoustic performance of "Bullet in a Gun", from their new album, "Little Sparks"below.

South Africa participated in the Jameson Global Party 2012.
Jameson is the coolest whiskey. International celebrities endorse this brand, without reward, for it's coolness and the recognisable quality Jameson delivers at every level.

The linked video does not belong to me and remains the sole property of the owner. I have shared it on my Facebook page, directly off the Jameson official Facebook page, for my friends to view on my Facebook profile. I do the same here to afford the 'Beankeeper' blog viewers the same opportunity.

Passionate Whisky Blogs

Being passionate about what you love is infectious. There are a number of blogs that amaze me because of the absolute love these bloggers have for their whisky. Some have amazing collections, others are very educated in the field, others are writers and others are gifted beyond us mortals.
  1. The blog that most fascinated and inspired me recently is The Buxrud Family from Sweden. I love 'understated' and then being so totally surprised. When you get to this blog, click on the whisky tab. This blog abounds with the vastness of one man's knowledge, books on whisky, a vast whisky collection and Ulf's total passion for Scotch whisky.
  2. My almost first is from a whisky lover in Germany. His blog is Dramming and is your whisky newsletter. Oliver Klimek's blog is truly awesome and often quoted from without being given Oliver due credit. I will prefer you get the news directly from Dramming.
  3. My third choice is a very talented whisky man's blog. Davin de Kergommeaux's blog,  Canadian Whisky is a real eye-opener. Davin is a hidden gem I am sure you will make an effort to get to know him better. He is a talented man.
  4. If you haven't visited Ralfy's blog yet, you are in for a good surprise. Ralfy is one of the busiest bloggers and his contributions are awesome. His YouTube whisky videos are legendary.
  5. My fifth choice is a truly number one for most. The Malt Maniacs are legends and need no introduction. Visit their blog and judge for yourself.
  6. My last choice this year is purely fun. If you want to start a whisky club, these LA boys show the way. Visit their blog: LA Whiskey Society, click on their society link and simply emulate.

Enjoy these wonderful blogs. Leave some comments if you agree or disagree with my observations. I have included these blogs freely and without consent. I will appreciate feedback from my esteemed bloggers if they wish I remove their blogs from my post.

Top Scotch Whisky Market & My Gripe

France is the largest Scotch whisky market in the world by volume but not by value. The title of the leading Scotch whisky market in the world belongs to the USA, officially the largest Scotch whisky market by value and therefore considered the largest Scotch whisky market in the world. On the basis of judging value rather than volume as the measure of ranking, the true ranking of the largest Scotch whisky countries in the world are interesting.

The US is number one, two France (18% smaller than the US), three Singapore, four Spain and number five is my home country, South Africa, 1/4 the size of the US.

In South Africa, the 5th Largest Scotch whisky market in the world, one American whiskey and one Irish whiskey have gained ground in what was always Scotch whisky country, namely: Jack Daniels, and Jameson Irish whiskey. Two of my favourite Scotch whiskies that are experiencing increasing growth in South Africa include Chivas Regal, and The Glenlivet.

South Africa produces whisky albeit a South African Whisky. 'Three Ships Whisky' has been nominated and awarded at numerous international competitions and the newest whisky launched by the same manufacturer is a grain whisky named 'Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky' - also internationally awarded.

The next ten countries is order of ranking are: Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Venezuela, UAE, Mexico, Japan, Greece and Australia.

Japan at number 13 has a very healthy and respected whisky history of it's own. Suntory is a Japanese whisky know across the globe and is currently finding traction in the US market. China is the 16th largest Scotch whisky market by value but growing quickly.

India is the 20th largest Scotch whisky market by value, but India have huge locally manufactured Indian whiskies that as single brands sell millions of cases per annum - Royal Stag whisky is a great example. Royal Stag sold 12.4 million cases in 2011 and continues to grow and increase it's 27% market share. Imperial Blue is another such example. Indian Whisky is increasingly available across the African continent.

So here's my gripe!
South Africa is ranked number 5 in the world for Scotch Whisky! We are not shortlisted on any Scotch whisky website country selection shortlist. Countries of much lesser value make the shortlist. We South Africans must scroll down in alphabetical order like the lesser markets. It may seem insignificant but It shows lack of consideration and appreciation. There is no such thing as a healthy one way relationship! Get to grips with my gripe and grapple with your go getters to get this going.

And to those Scotch whisky brand websites that don't feature South Africa at all I suggest a bit of professor Nike - Just Do It!

And my Xmas Cheer!
So there -  I got my Xmas wish out the way. Have a great Xmas. Cheers or Slainte to you all.
Alternatively, join The Glenlivet's Facebook page and learn how to say Slainte, the Gaelic cheers or just how to make some great food to pair with the various The Glenlivet expressions.
You may meet Iain Logan for the first time when you visit The Glenlivet facebook page but you will want to keep coming back.
Iain is a serious whisky expert. He will educate and entertain you any time and almost all the time.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Whiskey Notebook page views

I am extremely pleased with the incredible increase in page views that The Whiskey Notebook received across many parts of the world over recent months. I have not intentionally promoted the blog and have had no real reason why not.

The Whiskey Notebook page view summary:

Africa (40%) mainly from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
The US (18.4%) is remarkable and I am humbled.
The EU/UK (12.6%) is lead by the UK with Germany a close second and France a distant third. Ireland a very disappointing 1.4%.
Other (29.%) is lead by Russia & Australia in that order.
Amongst other countries The Whiskey Notebook has been visited by friends in Hong Kong, Japan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, The Netherlands and many other countries. I will keep up the post and attempt to keep up a decent blog that is a useful resource to all who love Whiskey or Whisky.

The top three (3) countries, South Africa, United States and United Kingdom, in that order, account for 64.1% of page views. My thanks and appreciation to all visitors. Feel free to join the blog by becoming a member. As a member you will receive notice of updates to The Whiskey Notebook as soon as they happen.

The Whiskey Notebook is a reflection of the passion I have for the business I am in. It is mostly whisky or whiskey but it also is the world of drinks. I intend broadening The Whiskey Notebook to cover the wider world of drinks. The famous Absolut Vodka is my very first dabble out of the pure world of whisky. I am currently working on some material and will publish in the later part of January 2013.

Independent Bottlers

I have added a new section in the 'links' tab on this blog - INDEPENDENT BOTTLERS. The independent bottlers purchase their supplies from various distilleries in Scotland. Many purchase the spirit in new cask and age in their conditions or recipe. I believe it is important to separate them as they deliver exclusivity and value to the Scotch whisky industry and to the consumer. You will find many of these remind you of the early days in the Scotch whisky industry when the Grocers created the brands we know today. I enjoyed reading through their various website and have learnt immensely from them. My thanks to these enterprising independent bottlers.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Whisky Notebook: Rating

The Whisky Notebook: Rating: We rate The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 year old from the stable of the Original Single Malt. This near handcrafted Single Malt whisky is a perfect showcase of whisky as it was made. The review is detailed under the Rating tab.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Whisky Notebook: Bar

The Whisky Notebook: Bar: Jameson & Ginger Ale How to make this long drink - add: 40 - 50ml Jameson Original (a double) Top up with Schweppes Ginger Ale ...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Making Whisky Made Easy

This is a small video to best explain how whisky is made. I use this when training my ambassadors and it is exactly how they will finally present their understanding of the process back to me. They get the same kit and build out the entire process from scratch without help. I hope you enjoy this.