Tasting whiskey is always a journey

2017-11-13 14:46
Tsholo Moripe and Joseph Kazadi at Whisky Sensoria

Johannesburg - Many people assume that connoisseurs only taste whiskey neat.

I have heard stories of people being tossed out of Irish bars for asking for ice with theirs.

Well, neat isn’t always best, as I was told this week.

Rudi de Vos of House of Machines and Owen O’Reilly of Sip Exclusive tossed the rule out of the window at the Whisky Sensorial Journey of Discovery, telling guests to enjoy whiskey according to their personal preferences.

The event, at the Emoyeni Estate in Joburg, served as a prelude to the acclaimed Whisky and Spirits Live festival, which took place between Wednesday and Friday at the Sandton Convention Centre.

De Vos was a true rebel as he presented a variety of infused whiskey cocktails to guests who seemed bewildered but equally enthralled by the mind-blowing mixtures.

Suddenly, the wide world of whiskey seemed less intimidating.

Thank God they were the last on the list of five facilitators in a show-stopping tasting night with celebrities, colleagues and connoisseurs.

Our own Pierre Meintjes, one of only 159 Masters of the Quaich in the world, remained professional and used the occasion to introduce a yet-to-be released Bunnahabhain Scotch whisky, a single malt of Islay, which was superb.

He sang its praises and highlighted the point that our group was only the third to taste it in South Africa.

Whiskey tastings and food pairings are always an adventurous journey.

We found ourselves nodding with pride when we were educated about an extraordinary Three Ships fleet of proudly South African blended single malt whiskeys, crafted at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington.

Taken with a few drops of water, these South African whiskeys revealed more scents and flavours than I could have imagined.

They proudly flew the flag high, not only at the tasting session but also at the Sandton event.

(Photos: City Press)

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