Whisky: No longer just your suave uncle’s favourite drink
Whisky seems to have undergone a quiet and gradual rebrand into the drink of choice for younger, more urban crowds. Here are our faves.
Friends drinking whisky together. Picture: Supplied
There’s just something about the mention of whisky that has you conjuring up an image of older, more distinguished men as the key demographic for the amber liquid. However, the alcoholic beverage seems to have undergone a quiet and gradual rebrand into the drink of choice for younger, more urban crowds.
As such, brands have even had to take their packaging into account with many even redesigning their bottles and logos to appeal more to their expanded consumer base.
Historically, whisky has also not had the best reputation as the go-to beverage for an easy-drinking experience as images of scrunched-up faces in reaction to a “burning” chest are all that people are fed whenever the drink is featured in films and television shows.
However, with the rise in mixology and an affinity for experimentation, whisky has been reimagined into something that younger people can enjoy.
We take a look at some of our recent favourites.
Born from the Benriach Distillery, located in Speyside in Scotland, the brand recently released two new distinctive, flavour-forward Single Malts for the local market. These are the Benriach Twelve (R499) and The Smoky Twelve (R699) which were introduced alongside a new look for the Benriach brand.
Known for its long-standing tradition of distilling classic, peated and triple distilled whisky and a vast eclectic cask inventory sourced from around the world, the new single malts have been artistically crafted by the brand’s master blender Dr Rachel Barrie and her team.
The brand’s new packaging also takes inspiration from the first Benriach Single Malt released over two decades ago, with the portfolio’s colour palette inspired by Speyside’s natural environment in which the distillery sits.
“The new range perfectly marries tradition and innovation that is central to Benriach’s story. Inspired by the 1994 bottling of the Original Ten, with its fruit-laden complexity and smooth, rounded taste, the new range re-imagines the 1898 origins of Benriach, brought to life in the 21st century through fusing distilling styles with extraordinary casks,” explained Dr Barrie.
“The Twelve balances richly sherried malt with added layers of fruit complexity, reaching a pinnacle at twelve years old. The new Smoky Twelve explores the sweet smokiness of Benriach, enriched through innovative combinations of rum, virgin oak and marsala casks interwoven with more traditional bourbon and sherry,” she added.
This brand is a winner of the gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in both 2020 and 2021. It also took home the accolade for the world’s best-blended scotch whisky at the IWSC in 2019 and the event is considered one of the industry’s most prestigious competitions.
The brand’s latest addition – Grant’s Triple Wood 12 – is a creamy, fruity spirit that is aged in three barrels for a minimum of 12 years before blending, resulting in a rich, complex, final product.
Leaning into their new profile, blended Scotch Whisky brand Grant’s recently revived their Triple Good Sessions event series.
The aim of the events is to allow South African “crews” to raise their glasses high as they celebrate their collective “Ws” (wins) along with their mates while mulling over Grant’s Triple Wood 12 rocking to iconic musical acts.
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For their first event which took place at Katy’s Palace Bar, the brand tapped 90s superstars Thebe and DJ Cleo to rock the stage and thrill crowds with performances of their megahits. They were joined by DJs P_SSY Party, Rush Hour and Menzi XL.
“The Triple Good Sessions is an expression of the Grant’s brand and invites guests to celebrate their success, together, because #TogetherWeMakeIt,” explained the brand in a statement.
“Grant’s is all about collective achievement and bringing people together to celebrate their successes together no matter how big or small, which is why friendship is at the heart of what we do,” explained South African brand manager for Grant’s Whisky Thenjiwe Mabope.
“These are not just events for us. They are experiences that encapsulate the importance of people coming together and segues to lifelong relationships with Grant’s at the centre,” she added.
This brand boasts the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky and remains one of the last family distilleries in existence and now, they are trying to do their bit for the environment.
To do so, the brand partnered with two mavericks – Maps Maponyane and Zandile Ndhlovu – to highlight a serious issue affecting the planet all while doing their bit to raise the funds to help.
Enter the Glenfiddich Challengers club.
A platform that allows whisky aficionados to bid for one of 50 limited editions and own a rare case containing a special bottle of Glenfiddich and water untouched by man. All proceeds from sales on that platform go towards the Glenfiddich Water for Life Initiative.
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