5 neat SA spots to visit this International Whisky Day

Posted by Christi Nortier on 27 March 2019

For more than a decade, whisky lovers around the world have clinked a tumbler on this day to celebrate this tipple and everyone who have and will continue its craft.

International Whisk(e)y Day celebrates whiskies from around the world, therefore it reflects both spellings in its name. In Scotland, Canada, India, and Japan, for example, it is spelt as whisky. Ireland the USA, on the other hand, include the ‘e’.

Having settled the spelling dispute, the organisers of this global celebration encourage enthusiasts of this spirit to indulge in all-time favourites, or try something new. South Africa has a fair number of whisky wonderlands to visit:

1. James Sedgwick Whisky Distillery, Wellington

This is where the award-winning Three Ships Whisky and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky are made. This 130-year-old distillery is the only commercial whisky distillery on the continent. Get a peak inside the process on a tour of the distillery, sign up for a tasting masterclass or enjoy a whisky and food pairing menu.

2. Wild about Whisky, Dullstroom

This bar claims to have the second-largest whisky menu in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere. Well, it does have 45 set tastings on the menu drawn from their stock of over 1,000 different brands! For the last 13 years, they have been hosting ‘tutored tastings’ with over 20,000 customers.

3. Kyoto Garden, Cape Town

Japan is quickly catching up to Scotland as the world’s premiere whisky producer. So much so that Japanese brands are beating Scottish veterans at whisky-tasting competitions. It’s no wonder, then, that Kyoto Garden, an award-winning ‘shrine to Japanese cuisine’, has over 30 single malt Japanese whiskies. It says its collection is the largest of its kind in South Africa.


4. Maxim Lounge, Johannesburg

If you become a member of this Sandton bar, you can buy a bottle of whisky and keep it on-site in your very own whisky ‘keep’. When you next visit, you can retrieve it from the locker and continue enjoying it. There are even barmen who can mix you a whisky cocktail.


5. Whiskey Live Festival, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria

South Africa’s very own whisky festival is back this year in three cities, over three months. Whisky lovers will get the chance to speak to aficionados from around the world and taste 16 different brands. The festival has launched an app, Whizzky, that allows you to scan a bottle’s label and instantly get information on the whisky’s history and flavour profiles.

Feature image: Adam Jaime

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