Celebrating seventh heaven for Van Ryn’s Brandy at The Saxon.
With the House of Van Ryn’s winning the Worldwide Best Brandy trophy for a second consecutive year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), this South African Distillery has a rightful claim as the world’s best producer of fine potstill brandies.
Additional display space in Van Ryn’s trophy cabinet may be required sooner than later as this is the seventh time in 12 years that this Stellenbosch based Distillery has claimed the title of World’s Best Brandy at the IWSC, widely regarded as the most authoritative international liquor competition. Across the board, South African brandies dominated the international proceedings, winning five out of six gold medals and nine silver medals in the hotly contested category.
To celebrate this world class achievement, an evening of epicurean delight was held at one of South Africa’s finest luxury hotels, The Saxon Hotel & Villas in Johannesburg.
The Saxon’s Executive Chef, Werner Snoek created a three-course menu paired with a selection of the winning Van Ryn’s and Oude Meester premium brandies, and devised an Asian/Continental-inspired menu which elevated the flavours of each dish.
The starter paired pan-seared Scottish salmon fillet with the Oude Meester 12 Year Old which claimed the Gold Outstanding award at the IWSC. Five-spice pork belly was served with the gold trophy-winning Van Ryn’s 12 Year Old Distiller’s Reserve for the main course, before guests ended the gastronomic tour de force with a decadent chocolate and honeycomb dessert enjoyed with the Van Ryn’s 20 Year Old Collector’s Reserve. This brandy claimed a Gold Award at the IWSC.
“When planning a successful pairing the sum must be greater than its parts; you have to focus on the flavours and texture of the food and how they marry with the rich notes of fruit and spice, the soft mouthfeel, and the elegant clean finish of a fine potstill brandy,” said Stellenbosch-based Van Ryn’s Master Distiller Marlene Bester, who was present to guide guests through the tasting.
Chef Snoek noted that the fattiness of salmon and pork belly balanced perfectly with the richness of the potstill brandies. “The dark cholate and honeycomb flavours are lifted into the sublime when paired with the sophisticated flavour profile and smooth finish of the mature Van Ryn’s 20 Year Old,” Snoek said.
“This really was a special evening and a fitting celebration for South African brandies’ stellar performance on the global stage. The horde of gold medals and awards we achieve at competitions such as the IWSC help entrench our country’s position as the world’s best brandy producer and I am deeply privileged to play a small part in our growing reputation,” Bester said.