The award-winning distillery at Boplaas celebrates a milestone in April with the launch of its first single malt whisky, a spirit of remarkable historic pedigree. With a distilling heritage that dates to 1880, Boplaas’s latest limited-edition release is arguably the first of its kind to emerge from the Karoo.

Just 500 bottles of this true collector’s whisky have been produced.

“The single malt is the culmination of a dream we’ve held for a long time,” says Daniel Nel, sixth generation distiller at Boplaas. “To be able to release it during the 10th anniversary year of our whisky journey makes this release extra special for us.”

The single malt was made using peated malt from Scotland and double-distilled in a copper potstill. It was then matured for five years in ex-Bourbon barrels before being finished in casks previously used in the making Constantia’s famed Noble Late Harvest wine.

It was bottled, non chill-filtered and with its natural colour, at 46% ABV.

“Every step of the process involved the finest attention to detail to allow this whisky to express its character in the purest form,” says Daniel. “Using casks that previously held Contantia Noble Late Harvest was a real coup for us. This wine is renowned for having been enjoyed by Frederick the Great, Queen Victoria and Napoleon. We’re sure they would have approved of our Boplaas Single Malt too!”

This historic association represents a full circle for Boplaas. From its earliest days, the farm had a standing order for its brandies in London, which required casks to be transported by oxwagon from Calitzdorp to the Cape and then shipped to Europe.

Its new single malt builds on this tradition, which includes a diverse range of award-winning grain whiskies. In glass, the new single malt whisky expresses aromas of sweet peat-smoke and flavours of white peach, citrus and dried, candied fruits. The long finish carries with the taste of oak spiciness.

The flavour profile is particularly impacted by Boplaas’s location in the Little Karoo. “Low humidity and extreme variance in day/night temperatures steps up interaction between the spirit and the wood of the casks,” explains Daniel. “This means our evaporation rate – the so-called Angel’s Share – is relatively high at 6% per year. But what we receive in return is a high concentration of flavours and aromas in a spirit that appears far older than it is.”

The exterior of every bottle also reflects the fine craft of whisky-making. A slick black label displays etch-style sketch of a distillery scene – Daniel filling barrels with his loyal Ridgeback, called Whisky, beside him. “He’s my right-hand in the distillery,” Daniel declares.

Boplaas Single Malt is exclusively available from the Boplaas online shop at and the farm’s various tasting outlets. These are located at Boplaas in Calitzdorp, at Red Berry Farm outside George and at Old Nick Village in Plettenberg Bay.

The whisky retails for R1 200/bottle.


The Art of Duplicity is ecstatic to announce that your favourite secret Cape Town speakeasy is set to serve culinary exceptionalism alongside its already renowned cocktails. Under the skillful leadership of the new ‘Sovereign of Flavour’, Serushia ‘Sush’ Naidoo, this gastronomic experience promises to be an adventure. 

“What’s inspired me is that I finally got the chance to put my personality into my food creation,” says Sush. “A lot of tongue in cheek and just a little bit of sass! Coming from the bush and being able to have my hands on the best seafood and produce the country has to offer has allowed me to create this inventive, fun menu.”

Familiar favourites like the Niwatori Tea and the True Grit will now live alongside future staples like the delectable Caviar & Cauli and the exquisite Lobster Rolls. This fun-loving yet carefully curated menu is designed to complement the extensive range of cocktails, incorporating unconventional yet fresh flavours and cooking techniques to create a memorable dining experience. 

For the patron positioned in a wingback with a hankering for exquisite food and food experiences, what was owner David Donde to do? Enlist the help of a rising star in the business, of course. “Sush brings a talent for culinary creativity to a place that Capetonians and guests from around the world have come to rely on to satisfy their tastes for delicious, unexpected flavours,” says Donde. The Art of Duplicity has also enlisted the services of the esteemed Dale Parker as Operations Manager, whose experience in running and launching some of the city’s most famous clubs ensures the speakeasy maintains its award-winning blend of prohibition-era glamour and modern sophistication. After all, The Art of Duplicity prides itself on offering unique experiences to satisfied patrons with full hearts and glasses, while remaining Cape Town’s best-kept secret.

So, why don’t you find out what all the fuss is about for yourself? As you may or may not know, the Art of Duplicity is stowed away in the back of a renovated Victorian warehouse and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 18:00. Book a table, obtain the password and address, follow the prompts, and transport yourself to a bygone era of clandestine drinking and dining with the bewitching, newly-added meals. 

To make your booking, find The Art of Duplicity at:



What began as a dream and transformed into reality, has become a worldwide sensation. Indlovu Gin. (Indlovu means elephant in several African languages.) Appealing not only to gin enthusiasts, but also giving back to elephant conservation.  Handcrafted, distilled gin, made from elephant dung!

Indlovu Gin has not only caught the attention of international media—appearing on CNN, Fox News and BBC Radio, amongst others—it has also captured the imagination of the international gin community with exports to the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Scandinavia.

The flagship gin, Indlovu Original Gin, has recently been the recipient of an international Gold award at the prestigious New York 50 Best Gin Awards, in addition to the Double Gold it received at the local South African Craft Gin awards.

Indlovu Original is a premium gin for the adventurous spirit and the discerning gin collector. It offers smooth texture with complex with earthy flavours. Perfect to enjoy both neat on ice, and as part of a cocktail.

This uniquely African gin—with infused botanicals that are selectively foraged by wild elephants—provides a memorable sipping experience for any gin connoisseur,

During the Covid lockdowns the Indlovu ‘herd’ grew to include the Indlovu Pink and Indlovu Citrus.

Indlovu Pink is derived from a bush delicacy of the gentle African giants of the savannah, the prickly pear cactus. This fruity gin with delicate flavours was awarded Gold at the 2020 South African Craft Gin Awards. Indulge in the flavours of the African elephants’ savannah delicacy.

Completing the trio is the Indlovu Citrus. The tangy orange citrus and tropical marula fruits that are infused into the gin are captured in its colour and aroma. These fruits are favourites with the African elephant and their addition to a gin has resulted in Indlovu Citrus receiving a Double Gold at the 2021 South African Craft Gin Awards. Testament to the elephants’ impeccable palate.

Indlovu Gin supports wildlife conservation with 15% of the profits donated to HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development Trust) to support their work in setting up and running South Africa’s first elephant orphanage. A virtuous circle where the elephants provide the ingredients for the gin which in turn supports their conservation through giving back.

For inspiration on pouring the perfect cocktails to compliment these unique gins visit

Available throughout South Africa, Indlovu gins retail for less than R500 per bottle. For the complete list of leading local and international retailers visit

Indlovu Gin. Made in Africa … designed by elephants.



Sugarbird® really knows how to pull out the stops when it comes to innovative Gifting ideas! Whether you’re looking for the perfect craft spirit gifting solution, or something to get your own Christmas party started in style and flavour, you’ll find inspiration in Sugarbird®’s festive season spirit offerings.

The latest bottle innovation Sugarbird® Safari Glitter Edition Gin brings you a taste of Africa – memorable flavour notes, courtesy of the extraordinary Cape Floral Kingdom, which is to be expected from the signature Gin range, but with the dazzling addition of edible glitter, to add some shimmer to the festivities, all in a Safari-themed bottle – what a stellar gift from Africa! 

Sugarbird® Gin Crackers are a must for every celebratory table. The pack contains the magic of all six variants, the most recent of which is the festive Cape Holly and Wild Plum.

Shortly after its inception, Sugarbird® partnered with competitive gin manufacturers, launching a series of multi-brand packs of gin mini bottles, from Advent calendars to sleeves of gin minis, adding variety to an already impressive Gifting range. Sugarbird® and Friends 12 Gin Showcase, designed as an all year round line, still makes for fantastic festive gifting for gin lovers –  a collection of the country’s finest in craft gins. The success of such collaboration is that so many of South Africa’s remarkable gins are show-cased, all in one box. The concept has now grown legs and diversified, first into Brandy and latterly, a multitude of spirits, from all over SA.

The Sugarbird® and Friends’ Brandy Box (first released for Festive 2020) contains 12 mini bottles of brandy, showcasing the remarkable diversity and heritage of this famous South African spirit, including, of course, Sugarbird®’s own XO Brandy, among them.  It offers consumers a sumptuous journey of Brandy excellence from all over our country, where SA Brandy, a little-known fact, trumps many a French cognac, world-wide.

The latest addition to Sugarbird® & Friends: ‘Multi Spirit 24 Advent’ is a smorgasbord of South Africa’s remarkable craft spirits! Packaged in a special Kudu Advent calendar box, it promises the best of local craft spirits, delighting the taste buds and making an enviable gift for the spirit connoisseur!

Eat, drink and be merry this festive season with Sugarbird®’s Gin Baubles! Hang them first on the tree, or use as table décor, before opening and enjoying with an ice cold tonic, of your choice, or consult the Sugarbird® website for serving suggestions for each flavour.

Issued by:  Kirsten Reynecke


Boplaas has enjoyed a bumper year having received prominent recognition at leading wine and spirit shows.

The record of achievements re-affirms the consistency of quality throughout the portfolio of this family-owned wine farm and distillery in the Klein Karoo village of Calitzdorp.

Port of kings

During the past 12 months, Boplaas Cape Port received two major accolades – one being from Tim Atkin MW and the other, from Platter’s South African wine guide.

Atkin rated the 2005 Boplaas Colheita Cape Tawny Port as best fortified wine in South Africa and awarded it a score of 96/100. Then, the 2023 edition of Platter’s, Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2020 received five stars and was also named Port of the Year. The wine follows in the footsteps of the 2017, 2018, 2019 vintages which also received five-star ratings.

Furthermore, the Boplaas Cape Wine Makers Guild 2005 Cape Tawny Port received the highest rating of all the Guild Auction Wines at this year’s CWG auction, from US-based Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. It sold for R1 473 per bottle.

Winning whisky

Boplaas 8 Year Old Virgin Cask Whisky was one of only two local whiskies to be awarded Double Platinum at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards (MIWASA). It follows in the acclaim of the Boplaas 6 Year Old Tawny Cask Whisky, which was rated Best South African Whisky.

Wine on the rise

Boplaas’s super-premium red wine – Gamka Red 2020 (Touriga Nacional, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tinta Barocca) – received a four-and-a-half stars in the Platter’s 2023 edition. It was also Top 10 at the tastings, scoring 93/100.

The Gamka Branca 2020 (Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc) also received four-and-a-half stars in the Platter’s guide.

Tops with Touriga

Boplaas winemaker Margaux Nel’s MSc dissertation focused on Touriga Nacional, which certainly helped in producing great results at recent shows. The Boplaas Touriga Nacional Family Reserve 2019 received four-and-a-half stars in Platter’s as well as Double Gold at MIWASA. The latter championship also bestowed Double Gold on the Boplaas Touriga Nacional 2021.

Other highlights

NWC SA TOP 100Boplaas Gamka 2020 Boplaas Cape Tawny Colheita 2005Double Platinum Double Platinum
TerroirBoplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2019                    Area Winner
MIWASACape Tawny N/VDouble Gold
Vitis ViniferaWW Tinta Barocca 2021Gold
 Rosé ChallengeBoplaas Moscato Rose 2022 Boplaas Cape Pink GinGold Gold
Red Blends ChallengeBoplaas Ring of Rocks 2018Gold

Finally, Boplaas opened a new tasting room in Plettenberg Bay this year. Its full portfolio is available in the shop at the Old Nick Village as well as from the farm in Calitzdorp and its tasting room in Little Brak on the Garden Route. Orders can also be placed via its online shop at


What started as a pipe dream for conservationist Louis Lategan, turned into a reality when The Royal Rhino cream liqueur was launched to the market in 2018.

The dire need to help save the rhino inspired Louis to design and create a bottle in the shape of a rhino horn. Not only would consumers get to enjoy this delicious cream liqueur but they would also be contributing to a worthy cause. For every bottle sold a percentage of the proceeds is donated to the fight against the poaching of Black and White Rhino throughout Africa.

Two flavours, native to the African continent, come together in a distinct fusion. The rich, bold taste of Arabica coffee is balanced with the flavour of fragrant vanilla. Fresh dairy cream is folded in to the liqueur to give The Royal Rhino its signature velvet finish. Savour the flavour of this African cream liqueur by enjoying it over ice in a short glass. Get creative with experimenting it as part of a creamy cocktail. Or why not drizzle it over ice cream to add that something extra when serving your guests dessert.

Not only is The Royal Rhino helping to save rhinos one sip at a time, but it is also a recipient of a number of prestigious accolades, which include an impressive score of 91 points out of a possible 100 at the recent International Wine & Spirit Competition. More recently The Royal Rhino was awarded the Best Bottle Design in the Beverage Packaging Division at the Virtual Worldstar Awards ceremony. Without a doubt a standout accolade, which saw a total of 321 entries from 36 countries.

The Royal Rhino is available from most outlets nationwide as well as their online shop at R159.99 per bottle.



Boplaas Family Vineyards has released a first-of-its-kind potstill brandy. Called Boplaas 2005 Single Harvest 17YO Potstill Brandy, its rarity in the Boplaas range stems from the spirit having been made from a single harvest and a single vineyard.

Just 1000 bottles of this limited release have been produced.

The brandy is made from a single colombard vineyard, from a single vintage, and was aged for 17 years in old tawny port barrels.

“The brandy holds a special place in my heart,” says Daniel Nel, sixth generation distiller at Boplaas. “It was distilled by my dad years before I took over the distilling at Boplaas. With its completion now, it was my privilege that we could decide on the final blend together and that I could see it to market.”

Under Carel Nel, Daniel’s father, Boplaas’s distilling legacy was re-ignited in the 1990s. While its distilling history dates to the 1880s, Boplaas became the first estate to receive a distilling licence at the end of  government’s virtual monopoly on spirits production. Carel subsequently emerged as one of the leading lights for premium brandy in South Africa, producing multiple award-winning expressions for decades.

With Daniel at the helm in the distillery, the brandy’s have continued to flourish alongside a new expansion into whiskies that have expanded Boplaas’s renown.

“The Boplaas 2005 Single Harvest 17YO Potstill Brandy shows beautiful aromas of Calitzdorp stonefruits, peaches and apricot,” says Daniel. “It is remarkably fruity for a brandy of its age, a characteristic that was certainly helped by the 300-litre ex-tawny port cognac barrels we used. The tawny character blooms on the palate with notes of candied orange, caramel, and nuts.”

According to Daniel, the 300-litre barrel makes for less surface area in contact with the spirit than a smaller 225 litre barrique, “which is what you want when ageing spirit for a long time in the Klein Karoo climate”. Here, the spirit ages much faster than for instance in Cognac or Scotland.

“The pace is beneficial for younger brandies and whiskies, because it brings greater concentration of flavour and aroma in a shorter period. For spirits that need to age for longer, larger format barrels are better,” he says.

The Boplaas potstill brandy range consists of an 8 Year Old, 12 Year Old and 20 Year Old. The latter two have both received five stars in Platter’s South African wine guide among their numerous other awards.

The Boplaas 2005 Single Harvest 17YO Potstill Brandy sells for R900/bottle and is only available from the Boplaas tasting rooms in Calitzdorp, Klein Brak and Plettenberg Bay. Orders may also be placed directly via email to, for delivery anywhere in the country.

More accolades for Sugarbird®, as market-reach grows with continued innovation.

Multi award-winning craft spirits producer, Sugarbird®, which embodies flavours from the Cape Floral Kingdom, continues to grow internationally, as it collects accolades and launches exciting new products.

The brand was founded in 2017 by a small team of innovators and enthusiasts in Cape Town, who set out to create gin in a unique way. Five years later, they have won multiple international awards, the most recent of which is 2022’s Best Luxury Spirit Brand in South Africa – awarded by US-based Luxury Lifestyle Awards (LLA). This is an unprecedented second, “best in South Africa” win, by Sugarbird’s Cape Fynbos Gin range, having been crowned South Africa’s Best Premium Gin, in 2021 by LLA.

“Awards like this confirm our objective, that Sugarbird® is delivering the very best products to our    clientele who have now come to expect nothing less.” said Sugarbird’s Matt Bresler. “We set out to create gin in a new way, going beyond the usual ingredients, and instead, drawing inspiration from the fynbos growing on our doorstep.” With its spirits, the Sugarbird® team has exquisitely combined various buchu species with rooibos, honeybush, several Pelargonium species and other fynbos plants, to create gins that attain a balance between citrus and floral notes – the hallmark of this popular brand.

“We are not resting on our laurels, as we continue to innovate with our new Honeybush and Moringa gin. This is a truly African product, steeped in two strains of fynbos tea. We released the gin variant, initially, as a “limited edition” gin mini.  But, we’ve had so many requests for it, as a full-size bottle, locally and abroad, and additionally, the amber diversifies and strengthens our existing range of gins.” said Bresler, who is a scientist whose passion and experimentation with fynbos has yielded both unique and impressive results.

This floral-driven amber gin is trickle-filtered through the leaves of the honeybush (Cyclopia) and rooibos (Aspalathus) plants, adding warm toffee and woody notes, for subtle aromatic spiciness. Honeybush’s natural sweetness is balanced by Namibian Moringa, which brings its own tart, herbaceous characteristics.

This gin pairs perfectly with the woody characters of a charcuterie platter, or with the sweet fruitiness of a pavlova dessert.

We like to believe that our unique products capture some of the true spirit of South Africa, in all its richness – and specifically showcase the stunning flavour and taste diversity of fynbos and the Cape Floral Kingdom. We are now represented and available in 16 different countries and are delighted to be sharing in our small way.” Bresler said.

Sugarbird® Honeybush and Moringa – a delightful new addition to an already sublime signature range is available nationally for online purchase via Smous and Takealot.
 RSP R375

Issued by Kirsten Reynecke

Boplaas shares festival stage with SA whisky icon

When a much-loved national whisky festival got underway again recently after a three-year pandemic-related absence, it was Boplaas that shared the stage to present a Masterclass with South African whisky icon Andy Watts.

Called The Only Whisky Show, the event was held at the Deck @ Wanderers on July 28 and 29. It is organized by Whiskybrother & Co. It proved so successful, with tickets selling out in a matter of hours, that a second event was scheduled for Cape Town.

Here, a masterclass was presented by Daniel Nel, 6th generation distiller at Boplaas, and Andy Watts, who in 2020 was named the US-based Icons of Whisky’s World Whisky Ambassador of the Year.

“It was an absolute privilege to share the stage with someone of Andy’s stature,” says Daniel. “Not only does he have a wealth of knowledge at his fingertips, but he started a whisky industry in SA that is now internationally recognized, while being very humble about it.”

The SA Whisky Masterclass showcased local expressions, with some very special releases from Boplaas, Bains and Three Ships.

Andy kicked off with the 6th release of Three Ships’ annual Master’s Collection, namely the 12YO Double Wood Blend.

The second whisky from Three Ships was the Millennium 21YO, distilled in 2000. It was launched last year at 51.8% alcohol. Only 1202 bottles – a palindrome of the year of release – were produced.

In turn, Daniel showed two single cask whiskies from Boplaas that were special releases this year – an 8YO with tawny cask-finish and an 8 YO with virgin cask-finish.

Daniel Nel took over Boplaas’s distillation division and expanded the portfolio of renowned brandies with a range of innovative whiskies. This included the 6YO Tawny Cask Whisky that won Platinum at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards. Boplaas also continued to amass medals for its other whiskies, brandies and gin, alongside its well- established reputation as a family-owned winery in Calitzdorp.

Boplaas whiskies are all made from single grain – the finest South African yellow maize. These generally mature faster in the warm Klein Karoo climate, which brings smoothness and concentration to the whiskies well beyond their stated years.

“This was a splendid event,” says Daniel. “Not only were participants tipped off to special releases such as the peated single malt from Boplaas and a port cask-finish from Three Ships, we all had a great time.”

The Boplaas winery and distillery in Calitzdorp is open every day for tasting and sales. All the Boplaas whiskies are available for tasting. Boplaas also has tasting rooms on the Garden Route at Little Brak, and in Plettenberg Bay. All products are available for purchase at

The Trophy Spirits Show brought to you by Investec – THE ESOTERIC, THE MAINSTREAM AND THE RARE

While it is perhaps a little too soon to describe the state of the wine and spirits industry as safely at pre-Covid levels, there are several indicators which suggest that there is a new vitality amongst producers and distributors. One of the key metrics is the breadth of entries at this year’s Trophy Spirits Show – now brought to you by Investec.

The 128 entries received this year from 34 producers and distributors were spread through nine categories: amongst the whisky submissions there were brands from Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and the United States. There were malt whiskies, grain whiskies and blended whiskies. There were potstill brandies from France (Cognac) and South Africa, rums, tequilas, vodkas and aperitifs, there was grappa and absinthe, creme de cassis and cream liqueurs – in short a cornucopia of the distillers and licoriste’s art.

For the first time since the inception of the competition the trophy for the show’s best brandy went to a South African single pot still, the Van Ryn’s Single Potstill Brandy aged 15 years, and in fact all of the top award-winning brandies were single pot stills from the cellars of the Cape.

As in previous years, entries came in from producers in places as far afield as the Americas, England, Japan, Scandinavia, Cuba, Italy, Germany, the sun-washed islands of the Caribbean, the highlands of Scotland, the deserts of Mexico, the villages of Cognac and pretty much everywhere in between. Included among these exotic origins were at least fifty different brandies, liqueurs, whiskies and gins from the Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Bo Saunders of Pernod Ricard with their 5 trophies

All the Trophy Winners

Investec Trophy for Best Brandy of Show

Van Ryn’s Single Potstill Brandy aged 15 years

Investec Trophy for Best London Gin & Riedel Trophy for Best Gin of Show

Triple Three Just Juniper Berry Gin

Investec Trophy for Best Distilled Gin

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

Investec Trophy for Best Blended Whisky

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Investec Trophy for Best Malt Whisky, Investec Trophy for Best Whisky of Show & Vinolok Trophy for Best Premium Spirit

The Glenlivet 18 Years of age Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Investec Trophy for Best Single Pot Still Whiskey

Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Aged 12 Years

Investec Trophy for Best Liqueur of Show

Amarula Cream with Marula Spirit – Ethiopian Coffee

Gold Medal Winners

Aberlour A’Bunadh Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
anCnoc 2006 bottled for WhiskyBrother&Co 
Gabriel Boudier Dijon Crème de Cassis 
Gabriel Boudier Dijon Saffron infused Gin 
Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky – Aged 12 Years 
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky 
KWV FIFTEEN Alambic Blend Potstill Brandy 
Poetic License Old Tom Gin 
Van Ryn’s Single Potstill Brandy aged 12 years

Issued by:    OutSorceress Marketing