For the fourth time since 2008, judges at the International Spirits Challenge have bestowed the Best Worldwide Brandy trophy upon Van Ryn's Distillery in Stellenbosch. A regular international medallist, the Van Ryn's 15-year-old fine cask reserve reflects the meticulous attention to quality paid by founder Jan van Ryn.
Van Ryn's Master Distiller Marlene Bester takes pride in the fact that the distillery has won the International Wine and Spirit Competition Worldwide Best Brandy title five times and is now also a four-time winner of the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) Best Brandy trophy. "This is the most any South African brandy producer has achieved over the past 10 years," she said.
Now in its 19th year, the ISC is one of the premier events promoting outstanding quality spirits from across the globe. It is supported by most of the world's leading spirits producers – more than 1 000 entries from 70 countries are received.
The ISC Tasting Awards winners are established through a rigorous seven days of tastings by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals. Each product is blind tasted and awarded a score for its aroma, appearance, taste and finish. Scores are collated and recorded by the category chairman before Trophy, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded.
"The Van Ryn's 15-year-old shows an intensity of fruit characters with a twist of citrus and a delectable trace of chocolate. To the eye, it has a rich gold colour, and the nose of honeyed-citrus will reveal a palate laced with chocolate, cigar box tones and sweet oak spices. My suggestion is to enjoy this fine potstill either neat, with ice or a dash of water," said Bester.