Whisky is an acquired taste, there’s no doubt about that. Thankfully, I’m slowly acquiring that taste, but will admit I’m being helped along by the most unlikely of influences – beer. Innis & Gunn, to be exact.
The award-winning Scottish craft beer first caught my eye at the end of last year. And I was delighted to hear they’ve got a stand at this year’s Whisky Live Festival (on at V&A Waterfront from 14–16 April 2016). ‘How can a beer take part in a whisky festival?’ I hear you ask. Simple. Innis & Gunn is brewed in such a way that without whisky, it wouldn’t exist. The company’s flagship beer Innis & Gunn Original, for example, is matured for 77 days in American oak heartwood barrels that were previously used to age Kentucky bourbon. This maturation process gives Innis & Gunn an incredible richness of flavour the likes of which I’ve honestly not tasted anywhere else.
Truman & Orange’s Rowan Leibbrandt, one of the men behind bringing Innis & Gunn to SA, and who has also been a regular mention on Cape Town Etc, says he’s honoured that the brand is recognised as worthy of taking part in Whisky Live, having first cracked the nod to the prestigious event at the Soweto Whisky Live Showroom in 2014.
‘We’re pleased to be the only beer present, and we believe local whisky drinkers will really appreciate Innis & Gunn’s Scottish story, whisky-like oak maturation and uniquely rich taste,’ says Rowan. ‘For too long, South Africans haven’t been able to drink beers of the same level and quality as the amazing single malts and Cognacs now available.’ Well, we think Whisky Live is the perfect start!
Find out more about the Whisky Live Festival from our earlier blog post, and be sure to get down to The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront. Rowan says visitors to the Innis & Gunn stand will be treated to speciality beer tastings, and there will even be a few surprises for those who come to enjoy this celebration of true flavour.
When Thursday 14 April – Saturday 16 April 2016 at 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where The Lookout, Granger Bay Boulevard, V&A Waterfront
Cost R105 – R190 at Ticket Pro
Contact [email protected], www.whiskylive.co.za