A short one today. About 10 years ago I had the privilege of viewing an absolutely astonishing whisky collection – the scale and composition of which was enough to make my eyes (and mouth) water. It was hidden in the bowels of an insurance company, at the bottom end of Orange Grove in Johannesburg, and I was only able to find the place because I had lived in nearby Houghton during my Joburg days so was familiar with the area. The incongruity was striking. This was something that should have been exhibited like the crown jewels, not tucked away on the back streets of a yes charming, but also slightly dodgy suburb. I would hazard the guess that at its zenith it would have laid claim to be the most valuable and judiciously assembled private whisky collection in the country…although I’d be happy for someone to dispute this and invite me round for verification. I was recently sad to learn that its owner, the late Leslie Zulberg, had passed away. My condolences go out to his family. I did not know Leslie well, having only met him that one time, but I’ll remember him fondly for graciously allowing me that breath-taking visit, and for the gift of a MacKillop’s Caol Ila, an independent bottling that introduced me to Islay whiskies. Less sad, but sad nonetheless, was the news that the collection had been dismantled and sold. Rest in peace Leslie.
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