16 June 2014 02:45

Meet Master of the Quaich at FNB Whisky Live CT

South Africa's  Pierre Meintjes will be representing two award-winning Scotch whisky brands, Scottish Leader and Black Bottle, at the upcoming FNB Whisky Live Showroom in Cape Town. The event takes place at Southern Sun's Cape Sun Hotel on June 19, 20 and 21 from 18:00 to 22:00.

Meintjes has been involved with Scotch whiskies for more than 40 years and is one of just 159 Masters of the Quaich (pronounced Quake) in the world. This title is conferred by the Keepers of the Quaich and is given only to those recognised for their contribution to the Scotch whisky industry. He is one of only two South Africans to have been honoured in this way.

Passionate about teaching and imparting knowledge (he comes from a family of teachers), Meintjes often hosts tastings, is a regular at Whisky Live and also leads educational tours of Scotland's top whisky distilleries.

He was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1995. Ten years later he became a Master of the Quaich. Meintjes helped form the South African chapter of The Keepers of the Quaich in 2000 and is still the driving force behind the society which he serves as honorary secretary.

"The word quaich derives from the Gaelic cuach, a two-handled drinking bowl. This is the symbol or icon of the society. There are currently only 35 Keepers of the Quaich in South Africa, one of them being former president FW de Klerk, who is an honorary member," he says.

Scottish Leader is a masterful blend of up to 30 of the finest Scotch whiskies – 25 single malt and five grain whiskies – to create a full-bodied, well-balanced aroma and taste experience. This whisky is lightly peated with a sweetish, honey-rich taste on the palate, ending in a dry and lingering peaty finish.

Over the past decade, Scottish Leader has been consistently acknowledged in international competitions, underscoring again and again the excellent quality it represents. It is one of the fastest-growing whisky brands internationally and is sold in 60 countries.

Black Bottle, a blend of renowned single malts from the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, and balanced by the finest Highland, Lowland and Speyside malt and grain whiskies, has a very unique taste. Its daringly bold profile has attracted a cult following. This year (2014) marks the centenary for the brand's trademark green bottle, shaped to resemble a pot still.

The blending traditions of both whisky brands are maintained by Scottish master blender Ian MacMillan who, like Meintjes, is also a whisky industry veteran of more than 40 years.

Available at liquor outlets nationwide, Scottish Leader retails for around ¬¬¬R115 a bottle, while Black Bottle is available for around R220 a bottle.

Tickets for FNB Whisky Live Showroom in Cape Town cost R150 if bought online, or R170 if purchased at the door. Ticket holders receive a complimentary tasting glass, a 2014 SA Whisky Handbook, a 500ml bottle of Valpré Spring Water and 15 whisky tasting vouchers.

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