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  • Writer's pictureGenevieve

Visiting South Africa's James Sedgwick Distillery

The Western Cape is famous for its vineyards and wine estates - but it's also home to The James Sedgwick Distillery. Located in Wellington (just outside of Cape Town), The James Sedgwick Distillery is responsible for the creation of South Africa’s most well-known whisky brands: Three Ships, and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.

Stopping by their distillery is something we can highly recommend, especially at the moment, as visitors currently have the opportunity to bottle their very own whisky! You're able to choose between bottling your very own 14-year-old Bain's single grain whisky (finished in a PX sherry cask), or bottling your very own Three Ships 11-year-old single malt (finished in an Acacia cask). Of course we couldn't choose between them - both were seriously delicious - so we opted to bottle ourselves one of each.

The James Sedgwick Distillery offers tours of the distillery, which incorporate whisky tastings, every Friday and Saturday. When we recently visited the Western Cape we booked one of their tours. Upon arrival we were treated to a lovely whisky cocktail. We were then taken on an interesting and informative walk around the premises, where we got to catch a glimpse of all the different stages of their whisky making operation - we saw the grain being delivered, their continuous stills running (their pot stills are only put to work in winter, as their malt whisky is a winter operation for them), casks being filled, and endless barrels of whisky maturing in their expansive warehouses.

We finished off the tour with a tasting of some of the exceptional whiskies that are being produced there, including a sample of their latest Three Ships release (not officially available quite yet - apparently a portion of this limited release will go on sale tomorrow, the 31st of May). It's a gently peated 13-year-old single malt that has been finished for 5 years in Cape Ruby casks.

For anyone interested, there are a few tasting options available, including a whisky and food pairing, a tasting of their core range, and a tasting of a small range of whiskies from their Master's Collection. If you're at all interested in whisky, we really recommend visiting the James Sedgwick Distillery - just visit their website to book yourself a tour.


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