Tuesday night saw a collection of high-end businessmen, Maserati's top clientele, and an array of influencers and celebrities make their way to De Waterkant restaurant, Beluga to celebrate the launch of Beluga's new whisky lounge.
The glamorous event opened with a Scottish Bagpipe performance and then we were greeted by smiling hostesses and welcome cocktails, before feasting our eyes on the impressive Maserati car display at the entrance of the restaurant. We then got immediate access to 10 whisky tasting bars.
The tasting bars were managed by seven of Beluga’s whisky suppliers, namely: Macallan (Edrington/ABV), The Glenlivet (Pernod Ricard), Glenmorangie (RGBC), Johnnie Walker (Diageo), Dewar’s and Aultmore (Bacardi), Kavalan (Universal Brands), and Three Ships, Bains, Bunnahabhain and Deanston (Distell).
I tasted the Glenmorangie; the Taiwanese whisky, Kavalan; the 10-year old Three Ships single malt; the Jameson Select Reserve; and one of the Bunnahabhain offerings. Foodwise, there was a-plenty, as we were treated to various canapes, platters of sushi (including its famous vegan sushi), and the OysterKing and Queen mingled with the guests, offering everyone some of the freshest and most delicious oysters I have ever tasted.
Guests could also purchase one of the exclusive lockers available in the Beluga Whisky Lounge, subsequently filling it with their favourite whiskies as they had tasted during the evening.
I spoke to Beluga’s executive manager Roxanne Smith and whisky connoisseur Edson Kembo about why they decided to launch a whisky lounge, why this one stands out, and how the pricing work. Here they elaborate further:
Why did Beluga decide to launch a new whisky lounge? And why whisky in particular?
We want to be one of the forefront whisky lounges in the Cape if not SA – in the future. We decided to do the launch to drive media towards the concept and make people aware of it on a larger scale, as well as a fun concept to bring back the fact that we are in summer again.
We wanted to add a change to Beluga, something different and exciting and to draw that crowd.
The lounge is a great place to conduct business meetings, meet like-minded individuals, or just to relax after a long day at the office.
Whisky is the drink of choice of the owners, so it really made sense to do something that there is a passion for, as well as the fact that whisky consumerism has grown considerably in the last while.
Did you have to do any renovations and if so, how long did it take to complete?
The area we have utilised for the whisky lounge was always an open plan addition to the restaurant with chairs and tables. We built in the actual whisky lockers and sliding glass door – this took about three days, as it could not be done during working hours.
We put up black and white wallpaper on all the lounge walls, with some great images relating to whisky, smoking, distilleries, etc. We also changed the seating set-up – we now have smaller lounge type tables with black leather couches for a classic stylish look, with the added benefit of comfort. This took about three days as well.
What whiskies can people look forward to tasting and any superior ones that stand out?
The tastings will be done by the brand companies themselves – Diageo, ABV/Edrington, Pernod Ricard, Distell, RGBC, Edward Snell, Universal Beverages, and Bacardi. These tastings usually taste from the beginner of the range up to the superior level, for example, Glenfiddich 12-year and will end with a Glenfiddich 21 or 25-year.
How does the pricing work – any special packages or promotions you can tell us about?
Member B: R5,450 incl. annual fee – This is the top tier locker (glass and houses nine bottles). Member C: R2,820 incl. annual fee – Smaller locker (wood and houses three bottles) Member D: R3,970 incl. annual fee – Large lower locker (wood and houses 12 bottles)
A 10% discount on your first order of whisky purchased to stock your locker;
Up to 10% discount on food and beverages purchased at Beluga;
Will receive two bespoke Crystal whisky glasses engraved with your name;
Exclusive invitations to monthly tasting events;
Personalised tastings for active members, which includes tastingware;
Members will have the first option to purchase whisky from Beluga at discounted prices;
Priority booking during season periods;
Exclusive tastings for new brand items;
Members-only special offers
Use of the exclusive members' lounge
Nameplate on locker
We have also added a general membership (for people who don’t wish to purchase a locker) at R1,099 annual fee.
What makes the Beluga Whisky Lounge stand out from the rest?
We have a great venue that can be utilised for many diverse reasons, making it the perfect venue to visit. Great food, from finger food to hearty meals.
We have also added an 86' flat screen TV for live sports games or if members want to utilise it for business/sales presentations. The general look is very vibey, but classy at the same time. Access to charging stations and Wi-Fi. The location is great and there is safe underground parking.
Also, our locker and bottle prices for members are extremely competitive. Click here to view the whisky lounge members' bottle menu.
For more on Beluga and what they have to offer, visit their website by clicking here and follow them on the following social media platforms: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
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