Whisky Magazine Issue 61
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Three packed shows,three cities – Whisky Live spreads the gospel bringing the world's best whiskies to South Africa and Holland
There is a huge transformation process taking place in South Africa. Together with newfound freedom and the opportunities it presents, South Africans, in all their rainbow colours, are discovering the pleasures of whisky.
Once the land of beer and brandy and coke, whisky has made significant inroads into the hearts and minds of the populace.
The enthusiasm and curiosity, which was once the exclusive domain of the wine industry, is now shared with whisky.
Whisky advertising is at an all time high and has recorded huge growth year on year.
Billboards, glossy mags, newsprint, television and radio are all used extensively.
Sponsorship is also a successful tool in the industry. Actually, Justerini and Brooks' biggest international sponsorship happens in Cape Town each January in the form of the J&B Met, the country's premier horse race and social and fashion event.
So what has set off the recent growth?
Many factors have contributed. That President Thabo Mbeki is a Johnnie Walker Black convert is well documented. That Jimmy Bedford has become a local icon and visits regularly is also fact. That the general public finds it pleasurable to express their newfound economic success with a 12 year old Glenfiddich is also strongly evident by premium whisky sales.
There is no doubt that the industry has marketed itself aggressively during the last few years, but there's another very telling factor.
Whisky has been brought out into the open.
It is no longer seen as “my father's ...