Whisky brands aim for black market

The 11th annual Whisky Live Festival took place from 6 – 8 November 2013 with a number of connoisseurs attending to taste and learn more about their favourite brands.

The event has managed to gain a big following since its inception 11 years ago and has served as a great platform for networking and education on different brands.

“These festivals are great, they gives us an opportunity to get hits of about 20 000 people in about 3 days, for us to tell our brand story,” says the brand manger for Glenlivet Single Malt Whisky, Mandla Holomisa.

“We want customers to understand why they choose a certain whisky, why they prefer a certain flavour and why it’s good for them,” he adds.

“It’s more about the know than the show”

Ballentines whisky is also becoming a big favourite amongst black whisky drinkers.

According to the brand manager, Zuki Ndungane, the company has experienced 85% growth in SA over past year with KZN being the biggest market.

“We’ve really had a good year and we plan to grow bigger especially in Gauteng with the help of a few campaigns we have recently launched,” Ndungane says.

A recent report by Nielsen research found Whisky to the fastest-growing liquor in South Africa. This was mostly due to a high number of black middle class switching from brandy to whisky.

So it’s no wonder all the big brands are looking to capture this growing market and have found the whisky festival as one of the best places to do this.

Dos and Don’ts of whisky tasting:

All experts agree that mixing your whisky is a big No no.

Eat before or after drinking whisky, try not to have any mixes because you won’t get to taste the real flavours of the drink.

Tasting is all about getting those aromas, so food and mixers tend to spoil the experience.

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