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Issue 61 - African aspirations

Whisky Magazine Issue 61
January 2007


This article is 11 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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African aspirations

Dave finds whisky and hip hop go well together in the Rainbow Nation

It has been a year of confounded expectations, (this, it must be said at the outset, is A Good Thing). Case in point.

Benriach, which came out of nowhere with a series of remarkable whiskies. The result was a complete reappraisal of a distillery I'd overlooked (or, on the strength of the old Seagram bottlings, looked down upon). Billy, you were right.

Another case in point. Whisky Live Joburg. It reminded me of a car show, thanks to the fact that I'd been to one the day before. My first as it happens and probably, no, make that undoubtedly, my last. What was I meant to be looking at? The colour, the line, the dashboard? Was I meant to be excited that I could stand in a queue and then sit in a parked car for 60 seconds? What was that meant to tell me? That said, the relentless nature of an event such as this sends you into some strange fugue state and I did almost buy a Mercedes. There again, me going to a car show is like a teetotaler going to Whisky Live, but I digress. The point is that the two events in Joburg were aimed at the same demographic, the young, affluent, black male. No wonder they had visual similarities. They both talked of status, achievement, confidence, though the advantage of Live is that you can experience the product, not just look at the label.

What hit you first about Joburg Live was the look. OK, there were the usual workshops, a sensory zone where you could try whisky with different artisanal foods, there were stands with malts galore, but the buz...

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