Project Description


Navigate World Whisky is proud to be associated with one of the largest French specialists in the importation and distribution of rare whiskies, La Maison du Whisky (LMDW).

Thierry Benitah La Maison Du Whisky

La Maison du Whisky (LMDW) was founded by Georges Bénitah in 1956 with the ambition of becoming the French specialist in rare, exclusive and original whisky. The company rapidly established itself as the industry expert, becoming the benchmark for fine whisky not just in France, but also elsewhere in Europe.

The arrival in 1995 of Thierry Bénitah, Georges Bénitah’s son, set the company firmly on the path towards maturing into a major distributor. His two years in the United States introduced him to two emblematic brands, Blanton’s and Heaven Hill, further enriching La Maison du Whisky’s portfolio and helping to open the way to yet other brands and distilleries, such as Redbreast in Ireland, Arran in Scotland and the Japanese whiskies of Suntory.

As a leader in this sector, LMDW displayed a dynamism that has played an important role in the evolution of the French market for premium whiskies as well as other fine spirits. While famous for its cask selection and bottling, LMDW’s specialised single casks have, however, never before been available on a commercial level in South Africa.

Two main factors previously excluded the LMDW range from the South African market: legislation prohibiting the importation and sale of the 700ml European standard bottles; and the massive resources required to select and bottle entire casks in significant bottle runs exclusively for South Africa.

Dedicated to representing the world’s most exclusive whisky, rum and other fine spirits in South Africa, Navigate World Whisky is now making this exceptional quality available to South African consumers. We achieve this by selecting exclusive casks in association with LMDW, as well as a joint bottling initiative to comply with the 750ml South African format. Navigate World Whisky is introducing close to 30 unique expressions and will be showcasing an exciting array of whisky and rum that, to date, has been largely unknown in South Africa.

LMDW has an impressive history as pioneers in identifying new and exclusive casks and bringing these selections to market. The company, for example, was pivotal in introducing Japanese whisky to the Western world, and in 2007 became Nikka’s official distributor for all of Europe. Establishing a footprint in South Africa has been on LMDW’s radar for some time. Its keen interest in the market was born of a long-standing relationship with NWW founder Alex de Ujfalussy, who, as a collector, shared the company’s philosophy of being on the cutting edge of all that is new in the world of whisky and fine spirits.

Alex’s evolution from private collector to commercial capability is now being realised as a direct result of a goal that has always been kept in mind: to bring these fine expressions and bottlings to the forefront in South Africa.

Those individuals who in the past have encountered LMDW’s exceptional quality know it, talk about it and want more of it. Now, with its eyes firmly set on local ground, and a bottling presence realised through the partnership with Navigate World Whisky, LMDW looks forward to developing its presence in Southern Africa.

Alex de Ujfalussy