Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky 40% ABV

Today’s tasting notes are courtesy of Bains Founder Distiller, Andy Watts.

Released in 2009, as South Africa’s first ever single grain whisky, Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky is matured in first fill bourbon casks for an initial three years before a further two years in fresh first fill bourbon casks.

Andy was appointed head of whisky at the company in 2016, after 25 years as Master Distiller at their James Sedgwick distillery in Wellington in South Africa. Watts is only the 6th Master Distiller since the distillery was established in 1886. Under Watts, the distillery produces the Three Ships line of whiskies, including blended and single malt whiskies, and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, South Africa’s only single grain whisky.

In 2012, the World Whiskies Awards selected Three Ships 5-Year-Old Premium Select as World’s Best Blended Whisky.

In 2014 Watts was named “Wellingtoner of the Year” and “Wellington Businessman of the Year”. Awards for services to the town and its community and the only time to date that both awards were given to the same person in the same year!

Bain’s was named the World’s Best Grain Whisky at the annual Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards (WWA) held in London in 2013 and 2018.[9]

At the World Whisky Awards (WWA) in 2018, he was named the Global Icon Master Distiller/ Master Blender of the Year and at the same WWA awards in 2020, he was named the Global Icon World Whisky Ambassador of the Year.


Whiskey age: Newly opened

Appearance: Warm, golden amber. E150 is used for consistency of colour.

Nose: Combination of floral, banana, citrus, honey, toasted hazelnuts and toffee aromas.

Palate: Balanced vanilla, cocoa butter and light spices from the sweet undertones of the oak casks in which it is matured. Oily soft texture
Two sets of 1st fill ex Bourbon casks are used.

Finish: Long, warm mouth-feel filled with coconut cream and an exceptionally smooth finish.

Overall: A single grain from 100% South African yellow maize (corn). A versatile whisky equally at home neat, with a dash of water or as a base for a highball / cocktail.
At between £23-27 it is an affordable whisky. Launched in 2009 it has won the prestigious World’s Best Grain title twice (2013 & 2018) at the World Whisky Awards (WWA)


Thanks for contributing your notes Andy, we very much appreciate it. As you may have guessed from our recent Bains tasting with Andy, we loved it, especially for such a reasonable price!

Sources: Bains Whisky, Wikipedia, Master of Malt

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