Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky has had quite a run of brilliance: it launched in NYC a couple of weeks ago, took gold at the 2015 New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC) and the James Sedgwick Distillery, where Bain’s is made, received the sought-after Best International Whisky Distillery of the Year award.
NYISC distinguishes itself by being made up of trade-only judges: buyers from top retail stores, restaurant owners, cocktail bar owners, hotel beverage directors, distributors and importers. So these decision-makers have real purchasing power and can make a direct impact on brand sales.
The whisky first launched in the USA in July 2015 in Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri, and now makes its debut in the Big Apple, “where dreams are made of” as Alicia Keys belts out in Jay-Zee’s Empire State of Mind. Master distiller Andy Watts, who was once a pro cricketer, says Bain’s has had an unexpectedly good reception in the USA, even from the infamously tell-it-like-it-is New Yorkers, which makes the response that much sweeter.
“I’ve been amazed by the interest in South African whisky, the sheer delight when New Yorkers shake my hand, taste Bain’s and declare their astonishment at the exceptional smoothness and quality of our whisky.
“Even though Bain’s is driven by style rather than age, the warmer South African climate allows for an accelerated maturation and interaction between spirit and wood. The result is a whisky that portrays maturity and a smoothness at a younger age than most of the Northern Hemisphere producing countries.”
HOW IT’S MADE
“SA’s first and only premium 100% single-grain whisky is made from the finest local grain, distilled in column stills and double matured in casks previous used for bourbon – first for an initial three years before being re-vatted into fresh casks for a further 18 to 30 months maturation period,” according to the press release.