Chivas Regal Brand Ambassador on misconceptions about whisky

We chat whisky and misconceptions with Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, Abongile Kolisi

Please give us a brief rundown of your job.
I am the Chivas Regal Brand Ambassador at Pernod Ricard. As a brand ambassador, you bring the brand’s values to life. You build strong relationships with internal and external customers, give rational reassurance and brand advocacy in the market.

What are some of the biggest myths/misconceptions out there with regard to whisky?
The two main misconceptions are:

– Whisky is a man’s drink. The world has evolved and women now enjoy their whisky and have in fact been instrumental in the success and growth of the whisky industry all around the world. They hold prestigious roles in distilling, blending, ambassadorial roles, sales, etc.

– There are rules on how to drink your whisky. If it’s your whisky, enjoy it how you see fit! We can, however, recommend a splash of water to open up the flavours.

How would you define South African whisky culture right now?
The South African whisky culture has grown tremendously in the past few years. Single-malts are currently king – an older whisky is superior and that’s the whisky you want to have on your table and be seen to be consuming.

The culture is driven by misconceptions about whisky and only a minority understand or even know what they are consuming.

What is your favourite whisky and why?
The Chivas Regal Extra. I love the rich and generous taste of it. The higher sherry content from the finest Oloroso sherry casks from Spain guarantees a quality whisky with rich, sweet and spicy flavours. I always describe it as the best of both worlds.

What is your ideal night out?
This is a hard one, because I am lucky enough to live my job, but if I’m not working and am in Johannesburg, then it’s sundowners at Hyde Park Corner, followed by dinner with friends at Signature Restaurant in Morningside and ending the evening at Churchills Cigar Bar in Melrose Arch.