Boplaas Returns As A Top Whisky Performer At Michelangelo Awards

Boplaas whisky has received a Platinum medal for a second time at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards, whose winners for 2022 were announced in recent days. Only 19 entries received the sought-after accolade this year, putting Boplaas in the top 1.15% of all wine and spirit entries. Furthermore, the whisky was one of only two that received Platinum status. 

This is the second time a Boplaas whisky has received a Platinum award at the authoritative event.

The Boplaas 8YO Virgin Cask whisky was bottled at 46%, is non-chill filtered and natural in colour. It was distilled from the finest South African yellow maize, aged for six years in second-fill bourbon barrels before being finished for a two years in new, first-fill American oak bourbon barrels. The whisky shows beautiful aromas of caramel and vanilla from the older American oak, and alluring wood and Christmas spices on the palate. 

“The Klein Karoo climate is ideal for ageing spirits,” says distiller Daniel Nel, sixth generation Nel at the celebrated Calitzdorp farm. “The combination of low humidity and big variation in day and night temperature causes the spirit to interact more with the wood and causes high evaporation. 

“We lose between 5-8% of the spirit due to evaporation per year, the ‘angel’s share’. But even though the angels here are very thirsty, they leave us with a highly concentrated and flavourful spirit. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

It was under Daniel’s tenure that whisky introduced a new era at Boplaas, which has long been known for the outstanding brandy produced by his father, Carel. Daniel took over distillation in 2017 and expanded the portfolio of renowned brandies with a range of innovative whiskies. This included the 6YO Tawny Cask Whisky that won Platinum at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards in 2018. It was top of the SA Whiskies that year – and a proud moment for father and son.

In wider context, Boplaas has continued to amass medals for its other whiskies, brandies and gin, alongside those of its wines and famous ports.

The Boplaas distilling heritage dates back to 1880, when Carel Nel’s great-great grandfather, Daniel, exported his first consignment of fine Boplaas Brandy to England. In those days they transported the barrels of brandy by ox wagon to Worcester and from there to Cape Town by train and then by ship to London. Little did they know back then, it was the beginning of a legacy that continues to this day.

Boplaas whisky is available along with other wines and spirits from the Boplaas cellar door in Calitzdorp; its online shop; tasting rooms on Klipheuwel Farm in Little Brak and Old Nick Village in Plettenberg Bay; and, discerning retailers nationwide.