What I Drank Last Night
Good Booze. Good Food. Good Company.

Glen Grant 50 Years Old

Glen Grant master distiller Dennis Malcolm.

Glen Grant master distiller Dennis Malcolm.

And so on a trip facilitated by liquor marketing company Edward Snell and Co to mark the launch of Glen Grant 50 Years Old single malt Scotch whisky which has taken in a visit to Manchester United’s home ground of Old Trafford, watching the last day of The Open at Royal Liverpool and a cruise on Loch Ness, finally a chance to taste the stuff.

Aged in a single sherry butt, 150 70cl bottles plus 150 20cl bottles have been released worldwide. It’s big and chewy and hugely complex: fresh fruit (oranges and tangerines), dried fruit (raisins and prunes), flowers, honey, and a hint of smoke.  Long and savoury, it was almost overwhelming (54.4% abv) but then 68- year-old master distiller Dennis Malcolm (the man who apparently put this whisky into cask back in 1963) insisted that his generous pour should be drunk neat. They say South Africa is not for sissies but evidently neither is Scotland.

Much of South Africa’s allocation has already been sold but retailer Makro is set to make some available towards the end of the year. Recommended retail price: R150 000 a bottle.

Morgenster 2005

How Merlot can you go?

Who says South Africa isn’t capable of top Merlot? Last night the Morgenster 2005, a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon showed very well indeed. A classic nose of red and black fruit, some cigar box and a touch of forest floor by virtue … [Continue reading]

Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011


Does local Pinot Noir benefit from a sympathy vote? Make a halfway decent wine from this perennially difficult grape and your ratings get bumped up disproportionately it very often seems to me. Last night the Pinot Noir Reserve 2011 from Chamonix, … [Continue reading]

The North Coast wine scene

Wine by Portugal, ice-bucket by SA.

Just back from a family holiday to the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and I was reminded once again how fragile the domestic wine culture is. Wine lists in restaurants are typically short and dominated by the fare offered by big distributors – it seemed … [Continue reading]

Mullineux Syrah 2012

More than the sum of its parts.

Have Mullineux Family Wines already got to the point that a new vintage is absorbed by the market so quickly that any formal announcement of a new release is superfluous? I saw the Syrah 2012 selling for R238.90 a bottle at Liquor City Claremont and … [Continue reading]

Interview: Mike Dobrovic of Havana Hills

Dobrovic at leisure.

From the July issue of Business Day WANTED: Mike Dobrovic, 57, was winemaker at Mulderbosch for nearly two decades before departing in 2009 and now holds a consultancy position with Philidelphia winery Havana Hills. One of the great eccentrics of the … [Continue reading]