Distilled by Jeff Green, Bain’s whisky is made with South African maize, says Green: South African maize makes a very good grain whisky’, and explained that even Scottish grain whisky was made from our local maize until thirty years ago. Bain’s has been operating for the past five years, and has been maturing its whisky in American oak since 2009. Their special recipe is ‘double maturisation’, describing the process of maturing the whisky in two different types of casks over the five year period, giving the whisky a lot more flavour, including vanilla, toffee, and banana, with a sweet touch. He explained that our summer heat makes the whisky mature more quickly and extracts more flavour from the casks. Bain’s is the first locally produced grain whisky.
More than 300 malt whiskies, grain whiskies, and blends were judged in London by a panel of master blenders, distillers, retailers, and journalists. The whiskies were tasted blind, based on three tasting rounds. Green said: “This isn’t just a win for Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky but for South African whisky-making. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, launched in 2009, was created to express the extraordinary properties of South Africa’s very best home-grown grains, fermented and distilled locally. The whisky is proudly South African in profile. By taking the World’s Best Grain Whisky title we have amply demonstrated that South Africa can make exceptional whiskies. The 2013 title follows last year’s win by Three Ships 5 Year Old of the WWA’s World’s Best Blended Whisky, puts South Africa as a whisky producing country, squarely on the map.”
At the celebratory first birthday party of the Orphanage Cocktail Emporium on Saturday evening we were welcomed with a Fynbos Martini, made with Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky, lemon juice, a buchu and naartjie syrup, and orange bitters, a delicious refreshing drink.
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is distilled and matured at the James Sedgwick Distillery, situated near the start of the Bain’s Kloof Pass in Wellington. The name of the whisky pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain, who planned and built Bain’s Kloof Pass. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky retails for approximately R200.
James Sedgwick Distillery, Distillery Road, Wellington. Tel (021) 809-7000. www.bainscapemountainwhisky.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage