Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Aberlour Puts its Crafted Quality Under the Lens with Ted Dwane’s Photography Exhibition

www.chivas.comMany peoples 'most favourite list' includes music, photography and great whiskies. Imagine discovering a collaboration that includes up-and-coming photographer and bassist for the world-famous band, Mumford & Sons, Ted Dwane and one of the world  major, if not best, Scotch Single Malt whiskies - Aberlour. Wham! You have an early Xmas present.

"The partnership celebrates an appreciation for authenticity, craft and enigmatic quality. The attention to detail required by both the photographer and the master distiller, in their mutual quest for a product of depth and intrigue, culminates in a multi-layered result, whether it be a velvety smooth single malt or a single edition hand-developed printed portrait."

See more at: Chivas Brothers website

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Scotch Malt and American whiskey compared - really?

Some statements irritate like flies around a summer fish braai (barbeque). You should swat them or wear an Aussie 'cork-on-string hat' and move on. Mr Jim Murray's recent comments are a collective noun for flies - a grist of flies! So bad is his comment that I cannot resist a response!
"Scotch malt whisky is now being outshone by 'vastly improved' American brands, leading critic says."

See what I mean  - horrible - once you analyze this controversial claim and discover who made the claim it becomes quite obvious that It is a poorly qualified opinion.

The not-so-great 'WHISKY BIBLE' by Jim Murray
My opinion about this statement is that everybody has an opinion except some people write books. I purchased a copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible in both hard-copy and iPad App format. Both a waste of time & money if you ask me! This is my opinion. Some consider Jim Murray's whisky bible a good read. Others have discovered authentic whisky writers.

I promised myself never to waste money or time on Jim Murray's books. I exclusively read good whisky books by Charles McLean (pictured right), Michael Jackson, Paul Pacult and others. These men are, and have been, awesome contributors to a fantastic Scotch whisky industry and remain independent.

I am amazed at the very polite response from the Scotch Whisky Association. Rosemary Gallagher, the spokesperson for the Scotch Whisky Association stated: "... This is really about Jim Murray's personal taste." True but the man's looking for a fight.

Mr Jim Murray please defend the following US distilleries trends: white whiskey; 2 year minimum ageing versus Scotch 3 year minimum limit, hot climate & ageing, charcoal filtration etc? We know we have limited knowledge about a field you have mastered so we trust you will remain accurate in your reply. Please refrain from subjective answers.

Monday, 2 December 2013

John Powers John's Lane 12 yo now in South Africa

John Clement Ryan's visit to Cape Town at the end of January 2014 coincides with the availability of 'Powers John's Lane 12 year old pure pot still Irish whiskey' which will now be stocked in leading South African liquor stores and top end bars across South Africa. Stock are extremely limited.

This remarkable whiskey is described by internationally renowned whisky authority -  Dave Broom: "This is astoundingly complex for a 12yo. An instant classic" - and later states in the Financial Times "... a whisky which makes you sigh contentedly ... ". I concur. Powers John's Lane Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey is bottled at 46% ABV.

John Powers established his distillery in Thomas Street in Dublin, Ireland in 1791 - eleven short years after John Jameson. The John Jameson distillery was established on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland in 1780. John Powers was quick to innovate to protect his brand of whiskey, thus Powers Irish whiskey became the first bottled whiskey. This was followed by the Baby Powers for the ladies - the first whiskey (50ml) miniature.

Dave Broom's tasting notes

Nose: Bold and rich with masses of oily leather, sandalwood, spices frying in melted butter, plump black fruits - black cherry and tayberry. 
Palate: That ebullient fruitiness continues, this time opening into apricot, cling peaches (and custard) and a topical edge of passion fruit. The sweetness becomes more savoury in the centre as the oiliness picks up.
Finish: Long and spicy.

Watch the YouTube video - Power John's Lane Release - The Irish

Powers John's Lane 12 year old Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey is now available in South Africa's leading top end liquor outlets. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

John Clement Ryan in Cape Town late January 2014

I have admired John Clement Ryan from the very first time I was invited to sit in on a tasting he presented. I remained mesmerized by this larger than life man with his deep baritone voice and abundant charm. He closed the evening by playing his classic guitar and  singing familiar Irish folk songs
John Ryan is a direct descendent of the famous John Powers whiskey family. As John himself says - his veins run whiskey.

John Ryan will be hosting a dinner late January 2014 for a group of invited guests in Cape Town, South Africa. He is introducing us to the Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey's new to South Africa. The new Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey's being introduced to South Africa from November 2013 include: Redbreast, Middleton Very Rare, Green Spot and Yellow Spot Pure Pot Still whiskey's.

This is now my most anticipated evening for 2014. Seats to the dinner are sought after but limited. We have one seat reserved for a true whiskey lover, so If you wish to meet the awesome Mr John Clement Ryan as an invited guest to his whiskey dinner - publish a remarkable  comment. Remember, if you are not from Cape Town, South Africa you need to budget for travel expenses.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Ballantine's South Africa Webiste Launched

Ballantine's Finest is the leading blended Scotch whisky in the world. The Ballantine's Family extends across various aged expressions including. the 12, 17, 21, 30, 40 and 41 year old Ballantine's. Many major whiskies of the world have no or limited age expressions.

Ballantine's is known as 'THE SCOTCH'. Not only is the bottle an original reflection of the bottles in which whisky was first bottled - now redesigned but still true to this original heritage. The lable is adorned with a coat of arms granted by The Lord Lyon - the master of Arms, and reflects the true art of whisky making.

There are over 40 single malts in Ballantine's. These malts are from across all the whisky producing regions in Scotland. Ballantine's therefore deserves the title of 'THE SCOTCH' as every element on the bottle and the contents in the bottle represents all and the best of scotch whisky making.

Visit 'Ballantine's South Africa Facebook Page' to see the latest Ballantine's bottle design. Please like the Ballantine's Facebook page.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Although its not WHISKY it's Malibutique 2013 Event Hosted By Malibu Rum

Malibutique 2013 What is Malibutique ? It is a play on the words Malibu and boutique, a promotional pop-up event hosted by Malibu Rum....

I love this innovative, creative and convivial Malibu experience that has me wondering why WHISKY is taking itself so seriously. I'm so tired of the same stuffy WHISKY festivals. We need a fresh approach.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Alyn Smith: Whisky association must accept a sound judgment - News -

I have not applied my mind to this fully but find myself intrigued and concerned. At face value I agree cheap drinks add to endemic alcohol problems but I remind myself I must think this through more fully. Please add comments that may illuminate areas I am so shadowed about. See the article below

Alyn Smith: Whisky association must accept a sound judgment - News -

Monday, 4 March 2013

Not Irish Whiskey if it is spelt whisky!

Jameson Irish whiskey is the leading Irish whiskey in the world and is the reason for Irish whiskey's continued international growth. 

The above picture does not feature a bottle of Jameson. It is a fact that Jameson is a  powerful brand that it often overpowers other brands. The picture below shows just how Jameson dominates.

Irish whiskey deserves to regain its position as a leading whiskey of the world. It is distilled three times and refined twice to ensure absolute purity and smoothness. We all know the crack the Scots make at the Irish expense: "the Irish distill it a third time because they couldn't get it right the second time"! Take a sip of any scotch (even a twelve year old Scotch) and then a sip of Jameson Irish whiskey and you will discover why the Irish distill once more and why the Scots are bitter.

It is a proud day finding a new Irish Whiskey website - featuring: Jameson, Powers, Bushmills, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, Connemara, Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Inishowen, Greenore, Redbreast, Midleton, Greenspot, Locke's, Clontarf, Knappogue Castle and Danny Boy.

Its a sad day that it isn't managed by the Irish. How do I know that it is not managed by the Irish - simple - an Irishman would have spelt whiskey correctly. I hope sanity prevails and the Irish take back this site. Especially as it is a 'dot org' web address.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Jameson Site and Online Shop

The Jameson Whiskey team have done us all a great favour. They have put together a spectacular website exhibiting the art, craft and range of Jameson Irish Whiskey expressions. Go to and discover the site for yourself. I love the simplicity of the layout and the easy to follow information provided.

The site covers: The Drinks, Trends, How It's Made, The People, John Jameson's Story, The Distillery Masters, The Cooper Master, The Whiskey Expressions, The Spirit we Share, Jameson First Shot with Kevin Spacey and the Shop where you may purchase a vast array of products.

I like the fact that I can purchase Jameson clothing, product and gift items online. My favourite thing about the Shop is that I can get my hands on expressions of Jameson previously available only when you purchase it at the distillery. I am just about to place my order for the Jameson genuine leather gents belt as well as my personalised bottle of Jameson Distillery Reserve.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Royal Salute - the pinnacle of Scotch whisky

Royal Salute is the most luxurious and sumptuous whisky range in the world. Royal Salute is the only whisky where the youngest expression starts as a 21 year old.

Royal Salute 21 year old is the original reference in the Royal Salute range - each ceramic flagon (bottle) is handcrafted over six days by master porcelain makers, crafted in red (rubies), green (emeralds) or blue (sapphires) to mirror the jewels in the Queen's crown. The flagon is adorned with the image of Robert The Bruce, Scotland's hero-warrior king. Each flagon is cloaked in a velvet, sporran like pouch, evoking Scottish heritage and association with royalty when unveiled.

The complete Royal Salute Range expressions include:

  • Royal Salute 21 year old mentioned above (porcelain flagon),
  • Royal Salute 21 year old Diamond Jubilee (includes a diamond),
  • Royal Salute 100 Cask contains whiskies ranging from 22 years old to 40 year old,
  • Royal Salute Stone of Destiny 38 year old
  • Royal Salute 62 where the youngest whiskies are 40 year old &
  • Royal Salute Tribute to Honour where the youngest whiskies are 45 year old -  presented in the opulently bejewelled bottle, dressed by Garrard in flawless diamonds and shimmering gold.
Royal Salute is the No. 1 luxury whisky in the world!

Royal Salute sometimes produce limited editions such as the Royal Salute 50 year old. The Royal Salute 50 year old label is crafted with hallmarked silver and 24 carrot. It is a serious collectors whisky today as only 220 bottles were released in the first year and sold for over five figures of US$ at the time.

Royal Salute was originally created to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The luxury craftsmanship evident across all Royal Salute expressions is reinforced by the bespoke, hand-crafted bottle that has been created by the world-renowned Dartington Crystal for Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute. Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute is very limited and collectable.

There simply is no match for Royal Salute Blended Scotch whisky. If any whisky should be by appointment only, then Royal Salute deserves the claim. No other deserves this claim.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Great Swedish Story - Mackmyra Swedish Whisky

Established in 1999 producing from pilot distillery, then building their new distillery in 2002 after attempting nearly 200 recipes to arrive at the perfect whisky. After launching with Mackmyra Reserve in 2002, they introduced Mackmyra Preludium in 2006 and in 2008 they launched the very popular Mackmyra First Edition range. In 2010 they launched their first premium whisky - Mackmyra Brukswhisky. Visit for further information.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Mocha Chocolate mousse with Jameson Irish whiskey

from dated 24 February 2013

170g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
170g unsalted butter
3 tbsps good-quality instant coffee granules, mixed with 2 tbsps hot water
4 free-range eggs, separated
150g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
2 tbsps Jameson Irish whiskey
Pinch fine salt
Whipped cream, to serve
Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a gentle simmer and melt the chocolate, butter and coffee in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan without touching the water, stirring occasionally.
Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and set aside. Keep the saucepan of water simmering away. Place a few handfuls of ice in a large bowl and half-fill with water. Set aside nearby.
Sit a heatproof bowl that will fit into the bowl of ice over the saucepan of simmering water and add the four egg yolks, 150g caster sugar, Jameson Irish whiskey and one tablespoon of cold water.
Using a balloon whisk or hand-held electric beaters, whisk for about three minutes until the mixture thickens, becomes paler and has a similar consistency to that of runny mayonnaise.
Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the bowl of iced water. Continue to whisk for a few minutes more until the mixture thickens and cools slightly, being careful that no water gets into the mixture. Add the chocolate mixture to the beaten egg mixture and stir to combine.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until just stiff and frothy. Add the extra tablespoon of caster sugar and beat again until just glossy.
Using a large mixing spoon, add one spoonful of egg whites to the chocolate mix and fold it in gently. Gradually fold in the remaining egg white, taking care not to over mix. Transfer the mousse to a jug, then pour into individual serving jars or glasses. Place in the fridge and chill for three to four hours before serving. Serve topped with a thick layer of whipped cream.
Add gooseberry and mint leaves.

Great Scotch Whisky (Documentary)

This is a great documentary about the history of Scotland and Scotch whisky, but be warned, it is 90 minutes plus and slightly dated. Some of the content may offend some people.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Diageo open offer cleared, United Spirits shares gain 4%

Mumbai: Shares of United Spirits today rose by 4 per cent after global liquor major Diageo Plc received market regulator Sebi's clearance for an open offer to acquire 26 per cent stake from public shareholders of the UB group firm. Read full article HERE.

This also means that Diageo get there hands on Whyte & Mackay whiskies including their blended whiskies as well as the single malts Jura and Dalmore. This also means they get the charismatic, charming and extremely entertaining master blender Richard Paterson.

It also means Diageo become a large player in the huge Indian whisky market.