Whisky Magazine Issue 53
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We recently asked for nominations for our ‘great whisky bars of the world' award. On the opposite page is the list of the first recipients. Here Damian Riley Smith reports on one of the best
Cape Town lives up to every visitor's preconception; it is magnificent, stunning, exciting. And while you can experience all these sensual experiences at different points and times throughout the city, they are perhaps all best brought together at Bascule, the whisky bar in the Cape Grace hotel.
It is the jewel in the Cape Grace (www.capegrace.com) crown, lurkiing beneath the hotel like the captain's quarters in the heart of some mighty ship. Opened in 2000, the Bascule set out to be the best whisky bar in Africa, and quite clearly meets this objective with flying colours.
The bar stocks more than 400 different whiskies at any one time (442 at the current count) with whiskies from every producing country, including South Africa's very own Three Ships.
Seating arcs round like a horseshoe under the hotel providing nooks and crannies filled with local business people and international holidaymakers. Cape Town is a truly cosmopolitan city, and the Bascule attracts more than its fair share of whisky enthusiasts, celebrities and business folk.
The large range of whisky is not the only reason the Bascule lures so many whisky lovers – there's also its permanent dedication to the enjoyment of whisky which makes it stand out.
For starters there is the whisky club, started in 2001, with a loyal following mainly of Capetonians who meet regularly to enjoy their favourite drink. On joining each member receives a bottle bin carved in to the bar wall in which to store his or her own w...