Four Cousins' Scottish Cousin Whisky wins gold at International Drinks Challenge

Tuesday, 4 September, 2018
Four Cousins
Scottish Cousin Whisky has rocketed to fame after it clinched Gold beside some of the world's iconic scotches at this year's International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Scottish Cousin whisky, an innovation by South Africa’s Four Cousins brand, has rocketed to fame after it clinched Gold beside some of the world's iconic scotches at this year's International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC). Joining the Gold-winning Scottish Cousin 8 Year Old on the podium was the 5 Year Old, which received Silver Outstanding.

The duo shared the momentous achievement at the London-based IWSC 2018 with whiskies that include Ardmore, The Balvenie, The Glenlivet and The Spice Tree. Regarded as a leading indicator of international excellence, IWSC is renowned for its broad and detailed judging process that involves some 400 global drinks experts.

The IWSC denotes Gold – a score of 90 to 92.9 – as "a superior example; setting the standard", while Silver Outstanding, 86 to 89.9 points, as an "outstanding example; excellent quality".

"We are very proud about this achievement," says Phillip Retief, CEO of Van Loveren Family Vineyards – the company behind Four Cousins and Scottish Cousin. "Scottish Cousin is a young addition to the Four Cousins portfolio, which makes news of the awards even more exciting. It is a very competitive liquor arena to aspire to play in outside of wine and we are learning along the way.

"We are wine people by heart, but are aspiring in offering something to consumers that prefer another drink of choice,” says Phillip.

Scottish Cousin is a range of premium Scotch whisky, crafted and bottled in Scotland, and distributed in South Africa by Four Cousins. What makes it extra special is its maturation. While many producers have moved away from guaranteed age statements on their bottles as a result of soaring international demand, Scottish Cousin offers three whiskies, aged to perfection: Scottish Cousin 5 Year Old, 8 Year Old and 12 Year Old.

The whisky is supplied by the independent, family-owned company of Angus Dundee, with distilling, production and blending managed by the famed Highland distilleries of Tomintoul and Glencadam.

Scottish Cousin makes a perfect fit to the Four Cousins brand, a true South African success story. Fiercely independent and good humoured, the Scots have much in common with South Africans – especially when it comes to a love of fine whisky.

Co-incidentally, two of the eponymous cousins have Scottish heritage. While born and bred in the farmlands of Robertson in the Western Cape, Phillip and Neil Retief are in fact, fifth generation Scots. Together with Bussell and Hennie, they are the face and founders of Four Cousins.

“Just as every Four Cousins beverage, Scottish Cousin is crafted with care and skill, using only the finest malt, grain and pure spring water,” says Neil Retief, who initiated the creation of Scottish Cousin “All the whiskies in the range are distilled according to age-old recipes and matured in American oak. Their age statements indicate a minimum period of maturation although each blend may contain older whiskies too, depending on the expert blender’s secret recipe.”

The 12YO is a medium to full-bodied whisky that is rich and indulgent. It has a rich nose of maple syrup, white stone fruit and roasted coffee leads into a slick palate of crème caramel, creamy vanilla and mature, peppery oak tones. The finish is luxurious and warming with gentle chocolate and sweet spice notes.

The 8YO is a light to medium-bodied Scotch with a nose of clover honey, sweet cinnamon, roasted chestnut and dark berry fruits that leads into a soft honey-nut palate with notes of toasted bagel, sugared almonds and demerara sugar. The finish is sweet, mellow and moreish with tones of honey roasted peanuts that linger.

The 5YO is medium-bodied in style. It has sweet sultana and toffee on the nose followed by notes of soft dried fig, blackberry compote and clove spice on the palate. The finish is gentle and warming with creamy fudge flavours and mellow woody tones.

The Scottish Cousin range of malt whiskies is available through leading retailers countrywide, as well as online at The whiskies are sold for around R199 for the 5YO, R279 for the 8YO and R445 for the 12YO.

Share your enjoyment of Scottish Cousin online - be sure to tag Four Cousins on Facebook ( and Twitter (@4CousinsWine). Four Cousins is also on Instagram. For more information, visit – where you can also sign up to get all the latest Four Cousins news; send email to or call 021 615 1505.