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Issue 99 - High Veldt Drifter

Whisky Magazine Issue 99
October 2011

 

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High Veldt Drifter

Dave Broom gets a whirlwind tour and finds a man with whisky passion.

Did you know that there's a whisky distillery here?” I was asked at Whisky Live Joburg five years ago. “Indeed,” I replied. “James Sedgwick, they make Three Ships.” The response was a shake of the head. “No. Here. Down the road in Pretoria. It's just opened.” The next day I headed to Silverton in search of the Drayman's brewery which is where my informant told me whisky was being made.

Along a strip of light industrial units was a tiny shop containing bottles of interesting looking beer miles away from the standard (and awful) SA standard brews and owner/brewer/distiller Moritz Kallmeyer who whisked me off on a whirlwind tour of his new baby.

Although a scientist and a man with a forensic attention to detail, his head seemed barely capable of linear thought such was his excitement.

Facts, figures, capacities, conjectures flew around the pristine brewery/distillery as we ran from mash tun to still, back to the mash tun to the fermenters and lagering cellar to whisky ageing cellar to mash tun again and, finally, exhausted to the drops of clean new make dribbling from the condenser. The spirit fragrant, intense and, most importantly, clean. Clearly this was a man who knew what he was doing.

Now, returning to Silverton I find Kallmeyer exactly the same, his eyes blazing with whisky passion. Clearly however he hasn't been idle.

There's new equipment (a lovely boiler for example), a large ageing facility, a growing local reputation and a new definition: High Veld...

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