Bringing together whisky and good friends

The whisky side of the Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair

It’s official: November is Whisky Month in Johannesburg! Fellow whisky lovers, we now have a second whisky event to look forward to come mid-November. If you haven’t heard about it yet, its called the Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair and will be held at the Montecasino Outdoor Piazza on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th of November 2011 from 18:00 – 21:00 as part of the MTN Ayoba Festival.

Click here to WIN tickets to the 2013 KAYA FM Wine & Malt Whisky Affair, brought to you by Old Mutual in association with Wade Bales Wine Society

Wanting to know more about the whisky side of the event, I got in touch with Wade Bales and asked him a few questions on behalf of all of us whisky lovers.

Wade Bales, founder of the Wade Bales Wine Society

WTF: Wade, you’re well known for putting on a good wine show, what has prompted the move to include whisky in this year’s festival?

WB: Even though the core business of The Wine Society focuses on fine wine, we service a high end client who more often than not enjoys good whisky or entertains a lot and whisky is part of this experience. We made a decision a few years ago to offer our clients whiskies which are not readily available and in many instances are unique and exclusive. We have experienced a big increase in interest for products other than the large well known brands. This coupled with the obvious similarities with fine wine convinced us that there was a gap in the event market for a festival with a difference. So when Montecasino and MTN partnered to host the inaugural Ayoba festival, we pitched the Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair which was selected as one of the key events as part of the broader festival.

WTF: Why Montecasino/Jhb as opposed to having it down in the Cape?

WB: Although we are a Cape based company, our target market and focus is very much Gauteng. The service we provide is more relevant to the needs of the Jhb market who generally have more disposable income, are time poor and want the right product for the right occasion and are prepared to pay for it.

WTF: How did the partnership with Ayoba MTN come about?

WB: We have hosted a number of wine events at Montecasino and with MTN sponsoring the Ayoba Festival at Monte, the relationship made sense.

WTF: Will we be seeing any special whiskies at the affair? If so, which ones?

WB: The Clan Denny Single casks are exclusive to South Africa, The Glenfarclas 40 was voted best Speyside malt WWA, Malt Advocate voted it best whisky of the year 2011. First time for Kilkerran in SA , Amrut Fusion exceptional, and many more.

WTF: Will any international whisky distillers/ambassadors/personalities be in attendance? If so, who?

WB: Unfortunately no international representation this year, but hopefully at next year’s show. We will have local representation of the brands at the stands though.

WTF: Can you describe the layout of the affair? Is it a series of wine and whisky stands? Will the whisky stands be separate from the wine ones, or interspersed?

WB: Upon entry to the marquee (which will be on the Montecasino Piazza) guests will find all Whisky Brands on the one side and Wine Estates on the other, so yes we have kept them separate. There will be a strong SHOP @ SHOW presence so guests can place orders at the show. Along with unlimited tastings there will be artisanal breads, cheeses, meats, olives and olive oils for guests to enjoy.

WTF: Will there be any whisky workshops? Private tastings?

WB: No, not at the moment but it might be something that we will be looking into in the future.

WTF: Are you a whisky drinker? If so, what is the most recent whisky you’ve had? And what is your most favourite one.

WB: Wine is without doubt my beverage of choice and I enjoy the odd beer as a thirst quencher. Whisky definitely has a place at my table, preferably with ice and a touch of water. Certainly not a purist but appreciate the wonderful flavours different whiskies exhibit as well as sense of place. Last whisky I enjoyed was a Glenfarclas

Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky Affair

So what will we get to taste at the event you ask? Without further ado…

List of whiskies that will be available at the Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair

(Correct at the time this post was published)

Beverage Emporium (Sprinkbank)
Springbank 10
Springbank 15
Longrow CV
Hazelburn 8
Beverage Emporium (Vatted Malts)
Glenbrynth 12
Clan Denny Islay
Clan Denny Speyside
Monkey Shoulder
Glenfarclas 12
Glenfarclas 105
Glenfarclas 17
Glenfarclas 21
Glenfarclas 40
Douglas Laing
Clan Denny Ardmore
Clan Denny Craigellachie
Clan Denny Glenrothes
Clan Denny Mortlach
Douglas of Drumlanrig Aberlour 19
Flare Beverages (Morrison Bowmore)
Auchentoshan 12
Auchentoshan 3 Wood
Glen Garioch Founders Reserve
Bowmore Darkest
Bowmore 18
Flare Beverages (Japanese Whisky)
Yamazaki 12
Nikka Red
Nikka Black
Yoichi 10
Karuizawa 1991
Whyte & Mackay
Dalmore 12
Dalmore Spey Dram
Jura 10
Jura Superstition
Jura Prophecy
Bruichladdich Laddie
Glengoyne 10
Glengoyne 17
Amorik (France)
Amrut Fusion (India)
Yoichi NAS (Japan)
Mc Carthy’s (USA)
Knappogue Castle (Ireland)
Laphroaig 10
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Laphroaig 18
Kreate Brands
Glenrothes Select Reserve
The King’s Ginger Liqueur
Dragon Brands
Balblair 2000
Balblair 1989
Liquidity (Compass Box)
Compass Box Great Kings Street Artists Blend
Compass Box Spice Tree
Compass Box Oak Cross
Compass Box Peat Monster
Compass Box Orangerie
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Cardhu 12
Lagavulin 12
Knockando 12
Edward Snell
Glenfiddich 12
Glenfiddich 15
Glenfiddich 18

That’s a really great line-up of whiskies! I can just imagine how brilliant the range of wines on offer will be for all wine enthusiasts. Tickets are R 190 per person and includes unlimited tastings, breads, cheeses and meats. I’ll definitely be attending, will you?

For more information contact Patricia Uribe-Daras on 021 794 2151, email or visit


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