At the recent Veritas Awards, South Africa’s potstill brandies beat every other category to take home the bulk of the Double Gold Medals. This year’s Veritas Awards had a number of international judges on the panel, and the judging process was far more stringent than in past years, making this win even sweeter.
The Veritas awards follow similar accolades at the prestigious Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards where authoritative international representation re-affirmed the diverse appeal and supreme quality of South African brandy.
“The results once again underlined the excellence of local brandies,” says SA Brandy Foundation director Christelle Reade-Jahn. “With a new system in place for judging entries at Veritas, as well as the fact that there are no discussions after the judging, absolute impartiality in judging is guaranteed.
“The Veritas organisers also responded to the requirements of the brandy industry and brought in two international spirits judges to ensure we benchmark our products globally. This is of huge importance given the future focus on exports and positioning our brands in international markets as the best brandies in the world.”
Reade-Jahn highlighted the spread of Double Gold winners – from a 5 to a 20-year-old brandy. “It demonstrates outstanding quality right across the board.”
One of South Africa’s most recognisable competitions for alcoholic beverages, Veritas awarded nine Double Gold and seven Gold medals to the country’s best brandies. Distell claimed six Double Gold medals for Richelieu International Liqueur Brandy, Viceroy 5 Year Old Potstill Brandy, Richelieu 10 Year Old Vintage Brandy, Van Ryn’s 10 Year Old Vintage Brandy, Van Ryn’s 15 Year Old Fine Cask Reserve Single Potstill Brandy and Van Ryn’s 20 Year Collectors Reserve Single Potstill Brandy. KWV received Double Gold for its KWV 12 Year Potstill Barrel Select Brandy, KWV 15 Year Alambic Potstill Brandy and KWV 20 Year Old Potstill Brandy.
A total of 29 brandies were entered in three categories of Standard, Potstill and Vintage with Potstill taking the most Double Gold awards across the entire competition with a total of eight. Potstill brandies also received six Gold Medals and Standard brandies, one.
Many of the brandies that featured at Veritas were top-scorers at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards. In that event, Oude Molen VS was crowned overall brandy champion.
Oude Molen also took the most Double Gold medals for the 100 Reserve Brandy and Ladismith Brandy, followed by one each for Drie Berge’s Drie Berge 3 Year Old Brandy NV and KWV’s Imoya Brandy.
KWV won four Gold medals, taking the top honours with Laborie Alambic 5 Year Brandy, KWV 12 Year Brandy, KWV 10 Year Brandy and KWV 15 year Brandy. It was followed by Die Mas wine cellar with Gold medals for Die Kalahari Truffel and Ver in die Ou Kalahari.
Gold medals also went to Boplaas Family Vineyards’ Boplaas Ox Wagon Potstill Brandy 20 Years, Distillery031’s Limited Edition 10Year Old Potstill Brandy, Drie Berge’s Drie Berge 5 Year Old Brandy and Oude Molen’s Oude Molen XO Cape Brandy.
Five Silver medals were awarded, going to Boplaas Family Vineyards, Diemersfontein Wines, KWV, Nature’s Own Beverages and Oude Molen.
“It is encouraging to see relatively smaller brandy producers winning accolades in the awards,” says Christelle Reade-Jahn. “The results bode well for the future with a great depth of talent emerging and providing a wide range of tastes and styles to choose from.”