Whisky from the Heart of South Africa

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By AdFeatures | Friday, November 02, 2012, 16:26


As you drive northeast across the picturesque vineries of the Western Cape, also called the heart of South Africa’s wine lands, you just might come across a whisky distillery. This distillery takes pride in producing some of the finest whiskies produced in South Africa.

Whisky is an extremely popular drink in South Africa and the land is famous for the production of a variety of styles of malts that include single malts, blends and many more. The popular distillery found in South Africa is the James Sedgwick Whisky Distillery.

James Sedgwick Distillery

The distillery was established in 1886 in the Western Cape region of South Africa and is famous for making South African grain and malt whisky. In the Western Cape, the year round temperature is relatively high. This, to some extent, speeds up the maturation process and contributes in providing a very smooth spirit at a relatively lesser time.

The James Sedgwick distillery also strictly follows the process of ageing the whisky for a long period of time in wooden oak casks for a minimum of three years. The distillery used to follow the conventional process of using malted barley or a locally grown grain with varying degrees of peat. But recently, the first single grain whisky exclusively made from the South African maize was tried out. The cask finishing varies a little from elsewhere and new maturation techniques have been tried out in making the whiskies. Even the pots used for distillation have been imported from Forsyth’s in Scotland and follow the classic Islay distilleries’ Bowmore pot style finish.

The end product is a stunning mix of the finest quality grains carrying hints of gorse, coconut and vanilla. The overall finish of the drink is fruity. The abundant sunny and fair weather could be accountable to the wonders of the spirit.

Three Ships whisky: The Three ships brand is famous for its production of three types of whiskies mainly:

  • The Malt whisky made from malted barley;
  • The Grain whisky made from maize or wheat; and
  • The Blended whisky made from a combination of malt and grain whisky.

The Three Ships 5 Year Old Premium Select: This is a bold and original premium whisky which is an artistic blend of selected South African and Scotch whiskies aged to perfection in selected casks for a period of 5 years.

The Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish: This whisky proudly takes the title of carrying 100% South African blended whisky comprising of equal amounts of malt and grain. These components are distilled and matured skillfully. After being aged for three years, the whisky is placed in special Bourbon Casks for an additional six months. The cask lends the whisky a light sweetish flavor with moderate doses of vanilla and spice. The spirit also possesses a rich golden color carrying a soft and warm scent.

The Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky: This whisky has earned itself a gold medal at the 2007 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The spirit has a color of warm copper with scents of peat, ester, and dried fruit and fudge fragrance. This whisky however, is not smoky.



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