South African Keepers of the Quaich series

Introducing Jonathan Miles

Jonathan has worked in the liquor industry for 41 years and has covered the whole spectrum of Beer, Wine and Spirits, Retail and Wholesale. He has also worked in the fermentation world for Fuel and Beverage products with Anchor Yeast and Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits for over 13 years.


He now consults extensively to the liquor and allied industries around the world. His current client base includes Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits in the USA; Anchor Yeast, William Grant & Sons and Dragon Brands in South Africa.


Jonathan Miles | Keeper of the Quaich

 “I started the Whisky Academy with my friend and colleague Robbie Rutter in 1999.  We set up tastings and whisky lectures around the country and started teaching enthusiasts about primarily Scotch whisky.  I joined Anchor yeast in 2004 and was tasked with selling our yeast into Scotland and other whisky making countries around the world. 

I now run the Whisky Academy on my own with the assistance of my son Michael Miles who imports whisky via his company Dragon Brands. 

I became a Keeper of the Quaich in 2011 and it has always been a great honour for me to promote Scotch whisky around the world.  I currently still sell yeast, still run the whisky academy and became chairman of the SA Chapter of the Keepers in 2019. Unfortunately, due to lockdown there has been very little opportunity to do anything, but hopefully that will change real soon.”

When asked what his most special memory is; Jonathan responded saying “I was in Islay while visiting the Bowmore Distillery, I had the privilege of tasting two 40 year old casks of Bowmore. They were both incredible and I will treasure that memory forever.”

And then finally.  We asked have you met anyone famous and shared a dram, his response “Many, many! Richard Patterson; Alan Winchester, David Stewart; Brian Kinsman; Douglas Murray; Charlie Maclean; David Broom and many others!”

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