Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

As a bit of a break from all the 10yo reviews of late, here is my review of the stunning and award winning South African whisky, the Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.

Bains Cape Mountain Whisky_NAS_The Smoky DramWhisky: Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, 43% ABV (Cost around R200)

Region: Wellington, South Africa

Style: Single Grain

Age: NAS (minimum 5 years)

Introduced in 2010, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is South Africa’s first Single Grain whisky. Named after the pass builder, Andrew Geddes Bain, the whisky is crafted at the foot of his Bainskloof Pass at the James Sedgwick Distillery. The whisky is quite uniquely matured. It is double matured in specially selected first-fill bourbon casks. After the initial three years’ maturation, the whisky is re-vatted to a second set of first-fill bourbon casks to age for a further two years while continuing to extract further flavour.

It is, or should I rather say was, the best kept secret in whisky in South Africa. Because on the 21 March 2013, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky was named the World’s Best Grain Whisky at the annual World Whisky Awards. And since then it is getting more and more challenging to get a bottle as it keeps flying off the shelves!

Colour: Deep golden amber (slightly burnished) with many thick and long legs.

Nose: Sweet, vanilla syrup and warm toffee pudding notes. Slight burnt caramel with a charming floralness to it, as well as hints of coconut and dried fruits.

Palate: Creamy texture (and taste, like the top part of rice pudding – butter and sugar) with woody undercurrents and a gorgeous warm spiciness to it that runs all over your tongue and mouth.

Finish: Remarkably smooth and warm with a velvety mouth feel that has a lengthy finish with a backbone of spiciness to the end.

Overall: This is an absolutely delicious and elegant whisky that is complex with a lovely sweet and spicy flavour. Perfect for those cold winter days and nights that are fast approaching us. This single grain whisky has shown to the world yet again what brilliant whisky is being made in South Africa. Congratulations to Andy Watts, master distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Jeff Green, distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky on this wonderful dram.

My Score: 85

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3 thoughts on “Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

  1. Pingback: Meeting Andy Watts – Master Distiller at The James Sedgwick Distillery | The Smoky Dram

  2. My parents went to South Africa this summer for the Transplant Games and brought a bottle back as a gift for me. After my first glass, I wish that they had brought more than one bottle. I tried to ration it out, but was unable to. This is my favorite whisky! I just wish that I could find it in Maryland (DC metro area)

    • Thank you for the lovely comment and story. The Bains sure is a wonderful dram, that no matter how you try to slow it down, it does finish unfortunately. I will try to find out if Bains does it exported to the US and if so to where.

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