There is something special about meeting a master craftsman. The Cracked Media crew were lucky enough to be invited to the amazing Sandton Sun Hotel, in the heart of the richest square mile in South Africa.
At the Vin Bar, we met Burn Stewart master distiller, Ian MacMillan. It’s an impressive title, but the man is impressive. His job is take a drink and turn it into an experience.
While seated along with other journalists, Ian explained the complexities of his finest Scottish Leader whiskey. We know a good spirit or two, but with a master like Ian telling you about smokiness, deep tones and colours, we were awakened to new senses. Not everyone can drink whiskey, but after tasting the Original and the new Signature blend from Scottish Leader, you might just change your mind.
MacMillan took us through the differences between straight whiskey, adding a little water as well as on ice. When asked if ice ruined the real whiskey experience, he smiled and said, “The best way to drink whiskey is the way that you like to drink whiskey.”
After a fascinating chat, that could easily have stretched into the late afternoon, superb food was served at the Vin Bar. Along with some whiskey tasters, we asked MacMillan if whiskey is the new wine. He simply said that he drinks whiskey all the time. He said that he enjoys his wine, but he enjoys his whiskey just a little bit more. He added that whiskey can be drunk anytime, anywhere and in any setting.
MacMillan not only blends, and signs off, on each bottle of Scottish Leader, he also helps other distillers across Scotland to create some of the best Scotch in the world. Sounds like we have been drinking in saying that, but Japan also make Scotch.
MacMillan has taken a regular drink and turned it into something special. What we suggest is that you try a bottle and give us your opinion. Do you drink whiskey and what makes you decide on a brand? Will you try a new brand and how important is cost?