11 August 2010 by Robyn Campbell

Magic mountain muti

In the foothills of the Bain’s Kloof Pass in Wellington, local master distiller at the James Sedgwick Distillery, Andy Watts, has been quietly making some mighty fine muti (medicine) - South Africa’s first single grain whisky to be exact.

Inspired by increasingly sophisticated local whisky drinkers, Watts set out to produce a premium spirit equal to any top-ranking international whisky but with a distinctive South African taste profile.

So unique is Watt’s creation that a new sub-category of grain whisky - Cape Mountain Whisky - had to be established to acknowledge its provenance.

The grain used in making Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is South African maize, the very same maize that was imported into Scotland up until the mid 1980s to make Scottish grain whisky.

Made in a style that allows the maximum interaction between the cask and whisky, Bain’s is double-matured, first for 3 years in specially selected oak casks that have been previously used only for Bourbon, and then re-vatted for a further 2 years in American oak which has previously been used for Bourbon.

The result is a whisky that shows exceptional interaction between spirit and wood. Toffee, floral and vanilla aromas and flavours softened by sweet, spicy undertones, produce a voluptuous mouth-feel and a smooth finish.

Debuting for the first time at the 2010 International Wine and Spirits Competition, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky won a gold medal and best in class, and a silver award at the 2010 International Spirits Competition.

Bain’s whisky and the Bain’s Kloof Pass are unique South African achievements; master classes in precision and passion, and I urge you to experience them both.

Just not simultaneously, PLEASE, least you find you’re in need of muti of a far less pleasant kind…

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