The first Johnnie Walker Whisky Bar on the African continent, Eighteen05 at the luxurious The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa is a glamorous and exclusive destination for connoisseurs, and people who simply love the taste of whisky.
An intimate setting in the ground floor bar near to the pool (once named the Oprah Lounge in honour of the celebrity’s friendship with the hotel’s owner), now the room is a hideaway in leather and gold where you will be surrounded by the history of a fine whisky brand.
Star of the show in this Johnnie Walker Blue room is the 1805, a limited edition bottle that was created in celebration of the iconic brand’s 200th
One wall holds a Perspex cabinet, each shelf carrying a limited edition bottle (created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Johnnie Walker in 2005) that has been bought, personalized with the buyer or recipient’s name, and is now stored at The Saxon for future visits. The 1805 is a whisky not made available for retail purchase so the only way to secure a precious sip would be to cosy up to someone who already owns one.
The best way to experience the place and the whisky is to book a three-course whiskey tasting menu presided over by one of the hotel’s resident whisky experts. The tasting consists of three whiskies, each paired with an exquisitely presented dish (The chef requires 48 hours notice to ensure the menu is to your tastes). Of course Scottish Salmon formed part of the menu, rich and succulent cubes that perfectly complemented the smoky taste of whisky. Dessert was an artwork of gold dusted rich and dense chocolate topped with tiny cones of white meringue.
The whisky offerings differ but our single malt pairing was with a 15-year-old Dalwhinnie, the 14-year-old Oban and 18-year-old Glenmorangie.
The piece de résistance however was the bar’s signature cocktail, The Gentleman’s Wager, whisky with a touch of pear liqueur, finished off with a perfect orb of ice. Definitely an experience to savour.