Whisky of the Week

Meandering the world, one whisky at a time

An afternoon with Jack Daniel’s & Woodford Reserve

Jack Daniel's function header

The invite said Bar Ber Black Sheep…  My first thought … spelling error?  The song is BaBa black sheep.  But Google quickly corrected me and directed me to Rosebanks’ new hip and happening spot.  Park Corner, a  new development on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Bolton Road in Johannesburg.  A barber and a bar combined.   A place to meet up with some friends and get a haircut.  All in 1 afternoon.  Quirky, but quite cool.  The function was the American Whisky tasting and food pairing experience with Brown Forman’s American Whiskey ambassador Cam Dawson together with Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve. 

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King Car Conductor Whisky from Taiwan

King Kar whisky kavalan header King Car Conductor

Back in 2011 when I started collecting whisky, l managed to find whiskies from the more traditional whisky making countries like Ireland, USA and Canada.  But on one of John’s trips he stumbled across a bottle of Finnish whisky and a bottle of Taiwanese whiskies.  Suddenly the flood gates opened.  There was an explosion of world whisky.  It might have been that the trip opened our eyes to something that has been there all along.  Regardless of the reason, we started noticing world whiskies everywhere and our collection changed to incorporate more world whisky.  To date, I have tasted whiskies from 23 different countries. But one of the first non traditional counties was Kavalan from Taiwan. 

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Angel Heart distillery – Gin in the City of Gold

angel heart distillery gin header

The discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand in 1852 lead to one of the largest ever gold rushes in world history.  The little hamlet that was up to then, just a stop over on the way to the Baberton goldfields, suddenly showed promise of riches.  That little hamlet would never be the same again.  Soon thousands of people descended on it.  Cecil John Rhodes from Kimberley made the trek to the mining camp  and purchased the first  batch of gold for £3000. This little hamblet was the start of Johannesburg, the City of Gold.

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Peat from Speyside: BenRiach Curiositas

Benriach curiositas 10 yo whisky header

Whiskies from Speyside are among Scotland’s lightest, sweetest single malts. Situated around the River Spey, Speyside is one of the most densely populated whisky areas in the world.  Over 30 distilleries populate the valley of rivers and glens.  The lack of peat or coastal air has allowed the Speyside region to create a broad style of whiskies that are are lighter, honeyed and refined. Some have heavily sherries influences, but there is an undercurrent of rich malts with toffee and honeyed flavours, paired with nuts and fruity notes.  Apple, pear, honey, vanilla and spice all have a part to play in the Speyside drams.  Every now and again, an expression comes along that veers off the designated path. Like this BenRiach Curiositas.

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KFC and Bourbon pairings to try tonight

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In my house, take away is a treat.  We only eat it when I have not had any time to cook, or when the weekend was just so lazy, that I could not bother.  One of our preferred options for take away is KFC.  And it seems that I am not alone in loving the crispy fried chicken.  Kentucky Friend Chicken (KFC) is the most prolific brand in South Africa, with over 800 stores spread across the land. The Kentucky in KFC and the Kentucky in Bourbon made me think… would the two work together?  You know I am always up for experimenting, so I this past weekend, off I went to KFC for a bucket of chicken.  John was in the mood for Zinger wings, so I grabbed a few of those as well.

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