Three Ships has launched the second of a series of three commemorative editions of its 10 year-old single malt whisky honouring intrepid explorers associated with the Cape. It recalls the epic journey of Vasco da Gama, the first European navigator to reach India.
It follows on the first edition, issued at the end of last year, commemorating the journey of Bartholomew Diaz who with his three little ships was the first from Europe to round what he was to name the Cape of Storms.
The second edition will be followed next year by the last of the trio which will be dedicated to Jan van Riebeeck whose little fleet of three ships sailed into Table Bay on 6 April 1652.
However, the whisky in all three is the same – Three Ships 10 year-old Single Malt, only the second single malt to be made at The James Sedgwick Distillery at Wellington in the Cape, and the only fully-fledged whisky distillery in Africa.
Said master distiller Andy Watts: “As we consider ourselves pioneers in our industry, we wanted to honour others who before us had also ventured into the unknown. And with our name it was only logical that we would look to those who had plied the oceans in their search for new worlds.
“The top-quality facilities we have at our disposal today enable us to produce whisky to the highest international standards. This single malt, within a year of its launch, has already won us gold in two major overseas competitions in 2011 – at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and at the Wine and Spirit Competition in London.”
The first 10 year-old single malt, launched in 2003, set the tone by in its first year also garnering gold at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
The latest single malt spent the full ten years in casks of different ages. Watts said the older small casks had contributed to the exceptional smoothness of this whisky while the wood, being American oak, had imbued it with a slight sweetness.
“This is very much intended for the discerning whisky drinker. It is full-bodied and well rounded. There is a hint of peat, but without the smokiness which is normally associated with it, and it offers a long, warm finish, with a good balance between wood and whisky.”
As in the case of the first edition, only 8 000 bottles are being made available. The distillery had sold out of the first edition within three months, and the same demand is expected of the second. It will be available in the trade for about R260 per bottle.