Whisky Magazine Issue 84
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Dave reports from the front line at Whisky Live South Africa.
It was white. Booths looking like something out of a sci-fi movie. In each of them, one wall is covered with a huge blow-up picture of fruit, or charcoal, or vanilla; on the other, a textured material: sandpaper, silk etc. On the tasting table as well as the whisky, there's cups containing aromatic substances and each booth is also playing a different soundtrack. As a way of explaining the different sensory attractions of whisky it's as great an idea as I have seen. It was created by The Really Great Brand Company for this year's Whisky Live in South Africa. As RGBC handles Edrington, ‘Morangie, Drambuie and Jack Daniels this is a pretty comprehensive one-stop shop in learning about whisky as a whole, as well as specific brands, and having a generic function as well as brand specific one is surely part and parcel of any effective education campaign.
This multi-faceted, sensory assault is complex, but also drills down to the simple truths at the heart of whisky, that understanding comes through flavour. Yes, I know, I've said it many times before and you know what I'm gonna keep right on repeating it. Get these basics right and then you can build. Fail to root a brand (especially a single malt) in this simple framework and you will struggle, especially with a new consumer in a new market.
Maybe it comes naturally to South Africans.
This is, after all, a country where the ability to be creative with the simplest of materials comes naturally. It's brought home at craft mark...