Lafitte's Goelette French Rum was one of the top scoring rums at the 2022 awards and was awarded a gold award. We had to find out more about this forward-thinking company and their philosophy.

Please tell us your name, a bit about yourself, and your role in the company.

My name is Alfred Kirsten, and I have been working for Rostberg for the past 27 years as a shareholder and Marketing Director.

Please tell us when your company was founded and some of its history.

Our company was established in July 1995 after our retrenchment and closure of Gilbeys Distillers and Vintners in Stellenbosch. Two of my colleagues and me bought some equipment from Gilbeys and started Rostberg as a wine bottling operation.

Spirits are currently riding on a huge wave of popularity. What avenues do you think still need to be explored, and what do you predict will happen in the near future?

I think that today’s consumers are more adventurous, which creates huge opportunities to renew and re-vitalise the traditional liquor categories as we know.

What makes your products unique?

Personal attention and passion to create high quality product for discerning consumers.

We are able to source high quality base products.

Alfred Kirsten at Rostberg.

Are all your spirits fermented and distilled the same way?

All products are imported through established, reputable companies with a long history of producing high quality products in Europe and North America, and whose products are now available in South Africa through our operations.

What is your philosophy regarding the making of spirits?

Soft, smooth and lingering mouthfeel combined with some mystery in the back ground.

What are the different spirits you have currently, and the differences between them?

We create products all over the spectrum of Brandy, Whisky, Rum, Gin and Vodka.

Where are your products available?

Makro Marketplace.

Do you perhaps have some innovations in the pipeline?

Yes, French Gin, Canadian Whisky, Cognac and American Whiskey.

A more personal question, recall the most interesting spirits you ever had, the occasion, and the memory.

Louis Trieze Cognac in the mid 1980 at Douglas Green, for whom I was working for at the time. Creation through blending and working with the best products available. This occasion is what inspired me to follow my subsequent career path in spirit blending.