June 9 2020  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Distell’s Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky revels in awards success and prepares to launch additional exclusives within travel retail

By Jas Ryat

A snapshot of Andy Watts, Head of Whisky Intrinsic Excellence at Distell & Founder Distiller at Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

South Africa’s Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky has scooped a flurry of awards at two prestigious spirits competitions including top recognition for its Travel Retail Exclusive trio of whiskies.

The innovative range of 18YO sherry cask-finished whiskies, which launched exclusively in travel retail last year, recognizes the vision of Founder Distiller, Andy Watts. The trio was successful at the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition, after a special late tasting took place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Travel Retail Exclusive range earned the following medals:

Bain's Oloroso Cask Finish Single Grain Whisky – Double Gold

Bain's Fino Cask Finish Single Grain Whisky – Gold

Bain's PX Cask Finish Single Grain Whisky – Silver

Bain’s 18-Year-Old, the oldest whisky to date launched in South Africa, was crafted at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington – the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa. The different sherry cask finishes interact with the spicy sweet notes of the single grain to create a range of expressions that offer different takes on the classic Bain’s profile.

Fino is the lightest and driest of all sherries, PX brings a dark, intense ebony of color to the whisky with deep red fruit flavors and Oloroso contributes a multitude of flavors. All three whiskies are bottled at a strength of 50.5% ABV.

Made from 100% sun-kissed South African grain, Bain’s spends its first three years maturing in first-fill casks previously used for bourbon before being re-vatted into a fresh set of first-fill ex-bourbon casks for a further two years. Then, the 18YO whiskies spend and additional ten years maturing in older American oak to develop hints of sweet butterscotch, raisins and banana loaf flavors. Finally, they are individually finished for three years in either Fino, PX or Oloroso sherry casks.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition accolades come on the back of success at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards, at which Bain’s and Andy Watts were crowned winners in two categories. Watts scooped World Whisky Ambassador of the Year and The James Sedgwick Distillery, the home of Bain’s, was named Sustainable Distillery of the Year.

“To receive such prestigious awards during these unprecedented times is a true honor and a great boost for everybody at Distell. It is a very proud moment for all involved and, importantly, the accolades are a further step in putting South African whiskies on the map.

This welcome positive news gives us all a renewed sense of hope as we look to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever and prepare to launch three more Travel Retail Exclusive whiskies later this year,” says Watts.

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