JOHANNESBURG - The Distell Group; Africa’s leading producer and marketer of a selection of top-quality spirits, wines, ciders and other ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, sold across the world; is commemorating the 100-year legacy of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, by releasing a once-off, limited-edition gift pack comprising a 750ml bottle of Van Ryn’s 27-year-old potstill brandy, and a 750ml bottle of Bain’s 15-year-old single grain whisky.
Only 2 000 of these special packs have been produced, intended as gifts for a hand-picked selection of prominent guests who attended the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers Stadium in Illovo, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, 17 July.
Dennis Matsane, who heads up Distell’s communications department saidm “It’s an incredible honour for Distell and two of its award-winning brands to be part of this year’s centennial celebrations, paying homage to the memory of Nelson Mandela, his leadership, as well as the unbelievable milestones he achieved during his lifetime. We are both humbled and excited to be involved and to share two exclusive, limited-edition alcoholic beverages with some of those attending the annual lecture. By doing so, we also encourage all individuals to heed the global call to action on Mandela Day, by giving 67 minutes of their time for the greater good to ultimately show that each person has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.
“The Van Ryn’s 27-year-old brandy reflects the period of time (27 years) that Mandela spent behind bars, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor and Victor Verster prisons.
“Meanwhile the 15-year-old Bain’s whisky expresses 15 years since the launch of the 46664 HIV/Aids awareness and social justice campaign that aims to honour Mandela’s humanitarian nature.”
Mandela was sent to prison on Robben Island in 1964, and was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. Hence the prison number 46664, now the name of a non-profit organisation established in 2002 as an independent campaign to engage the world’s youth.
Ambassadors for the 46664 campaign include musicians, artists and sportsmen and women who have committed to supporting the organisation and cause. In some cases, they are celebrities who have performed at 46664 concerts and have become global fans, such as Annie Lennox, Bono, Will Smith, Danny K and Vusi Mahlasela. Mandela gave his number to this cause as a reminder of the sacrifices he made for that which he believed in.
Brandy distiller, Marlene Bester, of the lauded Van Ryn’s Distillery close to Stellenbosch, describes the 27-year-old 100% potstill brandy as “supremely smooth, rich and luxurious, deep gold in colour, with alluring aromas of dried fruit, raisins and fruitcake, a hint of vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet tobacco and marzipan.” She says the taste is well-balanced with hints of oak and lingering flavours of dark chocolate, black currant and dried fruit.
The youngest component that makes up this singular brandy was matured in 300-litre French oak barrels for a period of 27 years. It includes other potstills , aged for even longer.
“The 15-year-old Bain’s single grain whisky started its as life as the internationally-awarded Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and spent an additional 10 years maturing in older American oak to reveal new depths and layers of flavour and smoothness,” Andy Watts, master distiller at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington where Bain’s is produced said. He is also the head of Distell’s Centre of Excellence for Whisky, a role he assumed in 2016.
“The whisky has a beautiful dark amber, golden orange, honey and treacle colour with soft floral notes, spice, tropical fruits, banana and teak aromas on the nose. The sweet butterscotch, raisins and banana loaf flavours coats the mouth with a complex, smooth and delicately lingering taste,” Watts elaborates.
The two exclusive Van Ryn’s and Bain’s products will be offered for tasting at two intimate events for invited guests, to take place in Johannesburg and Cape Town in August.
- BUSINESS REPORT