The 2015 Whisky Live Festival will open its caskets from November 11 – 13 at the Sandton Convention Centre, offering countless ways to discover the mastery behind the world’s finest whiskies.

The expected attendance is upwards of 10 000 people, making the Whisky Live Festival in Sandton the world’s largest event of its kind for the thirteenth year running. Keepers of the Quaich, Master Distillers and Global Ambassadors will share tales of the history and heritage of whisky while helping visitors get the most from each dram that they sample at the stands.


Aside from 15 whisky-tasting vouchers, all visitors will receive a passport to the World of Whisky, which will help inform their journey through the tasting hall. Scotland offers firm favourites like Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich as well as lesser-known bottlings from Checkers Private Barrel CompanyLoch Lomond Single Grain and Glen Scotia Double Cask. From Islay to Speyside, there is something for every palate.

This year, The Glenlivet brings Whisky Live visitors the ‘Dram Room’. Hosted by independent whisky aficionado Patrick Leclezio, the ‘Dram Room’ is an immersive, multi-sensory whisky appreciation experience. For those who prefer the ‘bite size’ version of a whisky tasting, The Glenlivet brand ambassador will also be on hand at the stand to explain the intricacies of this fine liquid and how best to enjoy it.


“A true connoisseur appreciates a great whisky with all of their senses. This year, The Glenlivet invites you to enter the fold of whisky connoisseurs and indulge in the single malt that started it all, in a truly immersive way.”

– Brand manager of Single Malt Whisky and Cognac at Pernod Ricard South Africa, Triya Govender

The Glenlivet Dram Room tastings will run every 20 minutes at the show.

Newcomers to the whisky category need not feel intimidated: the Brandhouse Flavour Sensorium will ask a few questions and from here visitors will be expertly directed to choose whiskies to taste from the Vibrant, Bold, Rich or Fresh flavour profiles within the extensive Brandhouse range.

Ireland will offer a beautiful array of Irish Potstills that are new to the Festival: Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Redbreast and Powers John’s Lane. Tullamore DEW further bolsters the Irish range, while visitors will once again be treated to Jameson’s ever-popular nightclub. American whiskey lovers will be pleased to taste the newly-launched Bulleit Bourbon, while the full range of Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve will be on offer. Whisky Live Festival also features a section dedicated to World Whiskies Award-winning whiskies including: Kavalan, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, Three Ships, the World Whiskies Awards stand and the Independent Bottlers’ Challenge stand.


Whisky lovers will also get to taste the distinctive and unique character of the Bunnahabhain range of rare, un-chillfiltered single malts while learning from one of South Africa’s leading authorities on whisky, Pierre Meintjes. Known as ‘Mr Whisky’, he is a Master of the Quaich, one of only 159 in the world.  This honour is bestowed only on those who show outstanding dedication to the Scotch whisky industry.

Meintjes will be sharing his passion for Scotch at the Bunnahabhain stand in the main tasting area on all three nights of the festival, and will also present a series of hour-long Bunnahabhain master classes, at 7:30pm on November 11, 7:45pm on November 12 and 6:15pm on November 13.  These are offered at R150 per visitor and there are 70 seats available per session.


This and other specialist hour-long Master Classes, at R150 per visitor, will be hosted within the main event this year and each participant will receive a headset. The impressive line-up includes Rob Allanson, Global Ambassador for Grant’s presenting a Whisky Live-exclusive tasting of Grant’s 18-Year Old; Master Distiller of Three Ships and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, Andy Watts, letting us in on some secrets; and Ian Chang, Master Distiller of World’s Best Whisky Award-winning Kavalan presenting the range, to name a few. There are only 70 seats per session and tickets can be booked on the Whisky Live Festival or Ticketpro’s websites. VIP ticket-holders will have exclusive access to the Lounge from 5pm daily.

Black Bottle blended Scotch will be taking a completely different turn. Taste it neat, or served in a tea-infused cocktail developed exclusively for the brand by world-renowned mixologist Mal Spence, the global ambassador for the brand. Watch him expertly mix, shake and serve up his impressively innovative combination. Scottish Leader will be showing off its redeveloped Original blend, as well its new luxury offering called Signature. These drams have been impressing international judges with, most remarkably, the Original awarded “master” status in its category at the 2015 Global Scotch Whisky Masters competition.

Twisp will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Sensorium at the Whisky Live Festival. Visitors to the Twisp Sensorium will enjoy a multi sensorial experience.Once the sensory experience is complete, guests will find a sophisticated pairing counter, where they will have the opportunity to pair a Twisp flavour with wine, ice-tea or coffee, after which they can relax in the Twisp lounge.


“The stand is a celebration of Twisp’s new range of three electronic cigarettes. These devices are a culmination of many years and 10 generations of non-stop research and development, introducing the finest e-cigarette technology to the market. While each device is unique in its own way, every one is packed with the same advanced technology thousands of Twispers have come to expect from the brand.”

– Twisp Marketing Director, Nathan Smith

Aside from delectable Deli Table treats and the opportunity to network among like-minded individuals while regaining Festival stamina, VIP ticketholders will also have access to a Whisky Connoisseur’s Bar where a different whisky expert will be available every half hour throughout the evening to sample something special to whomever is interested.

Pre-purchased Tasting Hall tickets from or cost R210 on Wednesday 11 November and R225 on Thursday 12 November and Friday 13 November. Tickets at the door will cost R230 for Wednesday 11 November and R250 for Thursday 12 November and Friday 13 November. All ticket prices include a complimentary tasting glass, a 500ml bottle of Valpré Spring Water, 15 tasting vouchers and a 2016 SA Whisky Handbook.


Guests who download WHIZZKY, Whisky Live’s interactive app to be launched at the Festival, will be rewarded with five additional tasting vouchers and if they continue to answer a few simple questions about their whisky choices, they will receive a further five tasting vouchers. Further value includes a goodie bag handed to every person who returns their voucher card on leaving the Festival.

The Sandton Times promotes responsible drinking. No persons under the age of 18 years will be allowed into the festival. Don’t drink and drive. Let Uber take you home! Sign up with the promo code: ubersandton and receive a FREE first ride up to R100.

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