The proudly South African Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky not only successfully launched in that city recently, but it was also announced that South Africa’s first and only premium, 100% single grain whisky took gold at the 2015 New York International Spirits Competition.
In addition, The James Sedgwick Distillery where Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is crafted at the foot of the Bain’s Kloof Pass in Wellington, received the coveted Best International Whisky Distillery of the Year award.
But what makes an award-winning whisky? The finest local grain, yes. Being distilled in column stills and double matured in casks previously used for bourbon for three years, sure. A further 18 to 30 months maturation in fresh casks? Yes, that too.
But there’s more to it than that. The Bain’s story is of a whisky that doesn’t forget its roots, no matter where in the world it’s being savoured. Bain’s pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain who helped build the Bain’s Kloof Pass in 1853, and takes its inspiration from the region with its natural beauty, peaks, valleys and wealth of fynbos. And it’s exactly this that gives the local whisky another advantage.
‘Even though Bain’s is driven by style rather than age, the warmer South African climate allows for an accelerated maturation and interaction between spirit and wood. The result is a whisky which portrays maturity and a smoothness at a younger age than most of the Northern Hemisphere producing countries,’ says master distiller Andy Watts.
‘I have been amazed by the interest in South African whisky, the sheer delight when New Yorkers shake my hand, taste Bain’s and declare their astonishment at the exceptional smoothness and quality of our whisky,’ says Watts of the whisky’s triumph in the Big Apple.
Cheers! We’ll certainly drink to that.