Distiller Brian Nation tells the good side of Jameson but…

Whisky aficionados. From left Jameson Ambassador Ntumi Kondile, Brian Nation-Distiller (middle) and unidentified guest at the Single Pot Stills of Midelton dinner held at Saxon hotel.

It was also graced by the Irish Ambassador, who boasted that over 35 000 Irish in SA are still loyal to their Jameson brand.

Held at the backdrop of the swanky Saxon Hotel, thanks to thirst-quenching and much needed rain it was a superb evening complemented by all kinds of whisky brands namely Barry Midleton Crokett, Red Breast, Yello Dot and Green Sport decorating the venue.

Our host Brian Nation, who made his maiden trip to SA, gave us the technicalities of master brewing these magnificent brands.

Nation, the head Distiller of Jameson Irish Distillers, who has been championing distillery for more than 19 year’s bracingly, told guests that Jameson was on the verge of collapsing in 80s due to tough times it was facing.

But a concerted effort by the owners turned things around strategically and today, it’s one of the most consumed globally.

The Single Pot Stills of Midleton are distilled in Ireland, which is famously the home of the largest whiskey pot still in the world.

These whiskeys are distilled in a boiling chamber where heat is directly applied to the pot giving them a uniquely creamy texture and various diverse flavours. The established bottles in the range are “Yellow Spot”, ‘Green Spot’, ‘Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy’, ‘Redbreast 12YO’

‘Powers John Lane’ whisky was not available for guests to taste, but will be on offer at the tasting and for sale at the Whiskey Live festival.

“I didn’t set out to work in a distillery -it was almost by accident- but probably the best accident that ever happened to me,” said Nation, in his Irish twang.

Asked if he’s aware that in SA Jameson is most consumed by females, the obviously shocked Nation promised to investigate that trend and what informs it.

On his first experience at the WLF, he promises South African’s to come and experience latest ranges and probe whatever concerns they may have on whisky, particularly Jameson, he noted during interview.

Former RedBull ambassador, Ntumi Kondile from Eastern Cape (East London) says joining this award winning brand comes with loads of responsibilities.

Appointed only 6 weeks ago to the ambassadorial position for Jameson, the unassuming Kondile said he has been hitting the ground running to re-energize the brand in the market.

“Apart from being well received in the market, we’re still probing other marketing mechanisms to stay relevant and effortlessly in your face ‘kinda’ type,” he said.

That’s my task at hand and I’m loving the moment,” he said on the sidelines.

On offer. Variations of Single Pot Stills of Midelton on display at the dinner function.

Posed to him why the opposite sex-enjoy the Jameson brand, he unwittingly uttered ‘its smooth, relevant, approachable and unpretentious’, says the former SABC sports journo and Jameson Select Reserve aficionada.

On meeting Brian, Kondile said it was an eye opener since he comes with a wealth of knowledge on the whisky front and will borrow some of his thoughtful skills to better equip myself.

Catch both Brian Nation and Kondile at these weeks WLF, Sandton Convention Center from November 9 to 11.

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