A man who knows his whisky all too well

Friday September 27 2019

Grant’s global brand ambassador Daniel Dyer.

Grant’s global brand ambassador Daniel Dyer. PHOTO | SAIDI KHAMIS 

By Mpoki Thomson

Daniel Dyer’s second coming to Tanzania was as eventful as can be imagined. The last time he jetted into the country was over a year ago.

Back then he was still adjusting to his new role as Grant’s global brand ambassador. Almost two year’s into his ambassadorial role the whisky expert has settled in quite nicely.
Whisky is big in Tanzania. Not just for the revelers who like imbibing one too many pints of different brands, the business side has also seen an upsurge.

Drinkers are spoiled for choice with an array of drinks to choose from. But one thing remains true in the life of a whisky taker: you never compromise on taste.
It is for this reason that Danny tries to amplify the Grant’s brand so it remains etched in the throats of those who like whisky.

Being an ambassador for a brand that is known, Danny’s work is at times cut out for him. Thousands of drinkers in Dar are all too familiar with the salient taste of whisky. With every cocktail, and a description of how it’s made, revelers never miss a front row seat from start to finish.
Interestingly, Danny says there’s different whisky for different occasions. The way cocktails are made with discerning tastes align with the prevailing environment. For example, he says in Dar, with the hot weather, the perfect syrup would be a whisky with a few chunks of ice and you can add a touch of water. “It’s good, it hydrates your body as opposed to just drinking straight whisky,” Danny says.
But if you want something a bit juicier, the whisky expert says you can just stick to the syrup, “lemon juice mixed with sugar and a bit of whisky, shake it off with a little cherry on top,” he says. But he cautions any drinker of such a ‘juicy’ drink to be careful, because it is very easy to drink, so you might over-indulge.
At the moment Danny is obsessed with mixing Coca cola with Grant’s, saying the two drinks blend well together because of the sweet vanilla taste.
At an event in Dar which was to usher in Grant’s new bottle design, Danny prepared his trademark drink – the old-fashioned. The old-fashioned has mix of sugar and betas, a great drink for even those who aren’t too sure about drinking whisky.
The last time Danny was in Tanzania he got a chance to visit a few sites in the country, however, this time around he had a brief stint and was keen on making the best of his two-day stay before jetting off to another destination. “My life is on planes, I’ve been travelling a lot lately,” says the whisky traveler.
His fleeting visit had all the hallmarks of the perfect night out in Dar. With Hamu restaurant in the upscale suburbs of Masaki as the scene for the showdown, all was on the table for an exciting night.
When it came time for Danny to go behind the bar counter, all eyes were fixated on the expansive tavern which had an assortment of whisky bottles lined up – a sight to behold for the lovers of whisky.
With a glass in hand, I permeated through the crowd and settled on the perfect vantage point where I could see the action in live high definition.
The sheer exuberance could be seen plastered on Danny’s face as he wrestled with the bottles trying to fix that perfect old fashioned. Glasses were lined up on the table awaiting to be filled with the alluring liquid which had our mouths watering.
After making a couple more drinks, all executed in matching perfection, at 9pm the night was still young.

But the show at the counter was coming to a close - and we were given leeway to enjoy the rest of the night mellowing with the drinks handed to us.  
This was the perfect night out in Dar.