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Food & Drink

Glenfiddich brings Japan to Jozi for a new whisky and a worthy cause

Guests were treated to a taste of Japan's famed cherry blossom festival at the Johannesburg launch of Grand Yozakura, Glenfiddich's latest limited edition

Glenfiddich SA recreated the magic of the Japanese tradition of 'hamani' (flower gazing) for the Johannesburg launch of its limited-edition single malt, Grand Yozakura.
Glenfiddich SA recreated the magic of the Japanese tradition of 'hamani' (flower gazing) for the Johannesburg launch of its limited-edition single malt, Grand Yozakura.
Image: Glenfiddich SA

Glenfiddich SA brought together mavericks and change-makers from around Johannesburg in an opulent, hanami-style celebration as it revealed Grand Yozakura, a limited-edition whisky that pays homage to Japanese culture. 

Hanami, which literally means “flower gazing”, is the ancient tradition of admiring Japan's famed sakura (cherry blossoms) in early spring — an annual pastime that's even more spectacular after dark when the country’s cherry trees are illuminated against the night sky. Known as yozakura, these evening festivities are often accompanied by sips of the Japanese celebratory drink of choice: awamori.

With the cherry blossoms themselves lasting just a week or two, hanami is a potent reminder to live in the moment — a sentiment that inspired the master distillers at Glenfiddich to create Grand Yozakura.

This much-anticipated addition to Glenfiddich’s renowned Grand Series, is the first single-malt Scotch whisky to be finished in ex-awamori casks, offering a sublime fusion of the finest flavours and traditions of Scotland and Japan. 

Glenfiddich SA's local launch of Grand Yozakura brought some of the magic of Japan's legendary cherry blossom festival to Mzansi — watch the video below — and, at the same time, sought to raise funds for the Glenfiddich Water for Life initiative. A passion project of the brand, this initiative aims to provide water security to areas which need it most.

Rare, limited-edition bottles of Glenfiddich and a pair of bespoke sneakers by Bertier Customs, designed specifically with Grand Yozakura as their inspiration, were available for auction. Alongside this, a private tour of the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, with malt master Brian Kinsman, was up for raffle, raising a total of R160,000 as a donation to the charity.

“In a series of firsts, the Grand Yozakura is the ultimate expression of modern luxury, and a true testament to our maverick spirit,” says Radley Connor, senior regional marketing manager of Glenfiddich SA. “Bringing people together for good is at the heart of what we do, and the hanami celebration was the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Visit Challengersclub.co.za for more information about the Glenfiddich Water for Life initiative and to donate to the cause.

This article was sponsored by Glenfiddich.