This week's whisky is something of a surprise. It's from South Africa – for some reason, not a country I ever thought of as a whisky producer.
It turns out that The James Sedgewick Distillery has been going since 1886, although initially it was built to produce brandy. It's only been used for whisky production for the last 20 years or so.
This is the Three Ships 10 Year Old, the first South African single malt to ever be released – their previous productions having all been blends rather than single malts.
It's a light, almost golden colour with definite honey hint to the nose. There are also some grapefruit aromas lurking behind the alcohol. Water allows much more of those green, fresh fruit smells to shine through.
It's a similar story on tasting; light and fresh tasting with a nice sweetness, smooth with a very long peppery finish. The addition of water allows the whisky to keep that light, fresh feeling but cuts back on the finish, making it a delicious 'drinking' whisky – definitely one for summer evenings rather than winter nights.
I wasn't sure what to expect of a whisky from such an unexpected country; I'm pleased to say that it's a sweet, smooth whisky that I'd be very happy to keep in the cupboard.
This review was originally published 8th August, 2012. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.