The James Sedgwick Distillery, home to Three Ships Whisky and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, is lifting the fog of mystery surrounding it and welcoming the public to take a unique look at its inner workings.
About James Sedgwick Distillery
Found in the town of Wellington (only an hour from the city), the distillery offers sweeping views of the Hawekwa and Groenberg Mountains. The James Sedgwick Distillery was awarded Best Brand Innovator in Whisky Magazines’ 2011 Icons of Whisky as well as named Best International Whisky Distillery at the New York International Spirits Competition in 2015.
Open to the public
The distillery will now offer tours and tastings on select days to only 10 people at a time. On Fridays and Saturdays at 10am and 2pm, you can head to the distillery for a once in a lifetime opportunity to taste internationally award-winning Three Ships Whisky and Bains Cape Mountain Whisky.
We were given a sneak peek of what you can expect to see at this iconic South African distillery. As we entered we were greeted with a refreshing cocktail – perfect for the warm weather ahead, and a great way to kick things off. Then we were off with our guide Simon Dicks, Distell brand manager, on foot to see the art of whisky making, and just what goes into creating a superb South African whisky.
Simon walked us through the various stages of whisky-making, from distillation to maturation. It has to be said that the maturation room is something to see. The James Sedgwick Distillery uses mainly American oak and at any time there will be more than 150,000 casks of whisky in maturation – it’s extraordinary to see first-hand the sheer volume of whisky they have.
Food and whisky pairing
Then we were back in the tasting room to enjoy a whisky and food pairing. The tray was filled with international and SA favourites – blue cheese, pulled-beef and caramalised onions, snoek pâté, dark chocolate mousse, pumpkin pie and dried & smoked apple slices. What I really enjoyed is that you weren’t told what goes with what, but rather encouraged to experiment and find out what you think works best, and what food complements which whisky the best.
We paired the food with the Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish, Three Ships 5 Year Old Premium Select, Bain’s Single Grain Whisky, and as a special treat we also sampled the Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt (which was amazing, just by the way).
I definitely recommend spending your Friday or Saturday exploring Wellington (visit Wellington Tourism website for more activities in the area: wellington.co.za) and, of course, popping into the James Sedgwick Distillery! Keep in mind no bookings can be made at the distillery or on arrival, so be sure to book your tour at Webtickets.
Tickets are R350 per person and include a welcome drink, tour of the distillery, and three whiskies paired with five food dishes.
072 415 3440
Words: Charis Le Riche | Images: Supplied