Despite being a whisky fan for a few years now, Thursday evening was my first time at a whisky festival.

On my arrival I was confused- I didn't know which way to go or which whisky stand to start with. It seemed like there were a hundred stands and I was like: "How is it possible for there to be so many whisky brands?"

As I was walking around trying to adjust to the vibe, I remembered a friend of mine had suggested that I go to the Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky stand and taste the proudly South African whisky.  I enjoyed its neat taste more than when it was dashed with water. Adding water or ice somehow changed its whole flavour to be a sweet one. This just reminded me of why whisky stones are so important. 

The Whisky Live Festival atmosphere was just awesome, maybe it is because it was hosted at one of the coolest place for youngsters to hang out in Durban, which is the Wave House at Gateway, in Umhlanga.

Not only did I enjoy the Bain's, which was recently named the World’s Best Grain Whisky in London, but the Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Whisky with a colour of deep sunset orange and the new Jameson Caskmates -a triple distilled Irish Whisky aged in craft beer barrels. I had read mixed reviews about it on social media, so I was a bit wary. As a Jameson lover, I have always bought the select reserve or the gold reserve, now that I have tasted the new Jameson Caskmates, I am switching. It is smoother and suits my palate. 

South Africa is the sixth-largest consumer of whisky in the world.

Each person was given a bottle of water on arrival, but even so it is worth bringing more if you plan on tasting a good selection of whiskies. Water helps when it comes to those whiskies with a bitter after taste.

The festival got busy too quickly and with not enough time to taste the other whiskies, I found myself missing out on something I particularly wanted to try. As a newbie in a whisky festival I felt welcomed, the people were friendly and they made me want to continue with this whisky tasting journey. 

The Whisky Live Festival Durban ends on Saturday, June 03 at the Wave House in Umhlanga.