Whisky Magazine Issue 84
This article is 15 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.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2014. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
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...