South African Local brandies: Toast of the town at Veritas Awards

Distell’s range of fine brandies continues to shine, claiming an impressive haul of six Double Gold medals at this year’s Veritas Awards. This year’s highest awarded brandies included Richelieu 10 Year Vintage, Richelieu International Liqueur, Viceroy 5 Year Potstill, Van Ryn’s 10 Year Vintage, Van Ryn’s 15 Year Fine Cask Reserve and the range topping, Van Ryn’s 20 Year Collectors Reserve, which achieved Double Gold Awards.

Veritas Awards is the biggest and longest running wine and brandy competition in South Africa and is synonymous with rewarding excellence in wine and brandy. With an illustrious history and stringent judging system, Veritas is widely regarded as South Africa’s preeminent wine and brandy competition.

Brandies were tasted blind by a panel of international and local Cape Wine Master experts, including liquor industry stalwarts such as Dr Winnie Bowman, Nina-Mari Bruwer, and Raymond Noppe, from South Africa, and Denis Lahouratate and Jean-Francois Jourmier from France.

“A new method of judging was introduced at this year’s Veritas where the judges did not discuss our results among themselves during the evaluation process, allowing for a more independent reflection of the initial scores,” said chairman of the brandy panel, Dr Winnie Bowman. “This was also the first year the judges used a pectin solution to rinse out the mouth to help to reduce palate fatigue.”

A Double Gold medal was awarded to brandies which scored 90 or more out of 100. It was the first year in Veritas that we used the 100-point scale for evaluation, and all the judges were unanimous in their praise for South African brandy. The international judges emphasized that they felt the standard of local potstill brandy had improved across the board and were particularly positive about the younger brandies such as the younger brandies which they felt offered exceptional value and quality,” says Bowman.

“It has been another excellent year for The House of Van Ryn’s, scooping top awards at every international and local competition that we enter. The distillery’s stellar performance at this year’s Veritas follows the success of Van Ryn’s 20 Year Old Collector’s Reserve winning a Gold Outstanding award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London and a Gold Award at the New York International Spirits Competition,” said Nick Holdcroft, Distell Brandy Ambassador.

Veritas host public tastings around the country so that wine and brandy lovers may sample the Double Gold and Gold Veritas Award-winning products. The tasting evenings start in Cape Town on October 18, Johannesburg on October 24, Durban on November 9 and end in Port Elizabeth on November 15. Book through Computicket or for Port Elizabeth email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.