Each month, Saverio Cardillo, whisky savant and owner of Joburg’s Bottega Whiskey Club, gives us his tip on the top tipple to get your hands on.
September’s pick: Hudson Manhattan Rye.
Why? Remember the lyric in Don McLean’s American Pie: "them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ’n rye"? Well this is the stuff he was on about.
This variation of the classic liquor has cherries, prunes and spice on the nose, and is made from a mash of more than 51% rye (as it must, to be called a rye) and it is delicious.
The deal: The Hudson distillery, in the US state of New York, is a family operation. It was also the first whiskey distillery to open in the state after Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s.
It’s all about hands-on (dare we say hipster) craftsmanship in making small batches of bourbon, single malt and rye — so much so that the distillery even uses bass music, pumped from subwoofer speakers set among the maturing barrels, to agitate the liquid.
The rye only comes in 350ml bottles.
As Cardillo puts it: "This, with a cigar, is the business."
• For more info and to buy Sav’s pick, visitbottegawhiskey.com
• But wait, there’s more: the FM is giving away a bottle of whisky, courtesy of Bottega Whiskey Club, to the writer of our best reader’s letter for September. We will notify the winner and have the prize delivered to his or her door. It’s as easy as that.