Taste Review #137 – Three Ships TBWC Batch 1
Adventures at sea in Africa. I’ve had a few, but one of the places I haven’t is South Africa, apart from sailing past Cape Town. It isn’t really a place you would tie into whisky production. This year and last I’ve worked with a couple of South Africans who could only name Bains as a a whisky coming from South Africa. They were surprised when I told them of another. They should hang their heads in shame as the distillery in question makes both the Bains brand and the Three Ships whisky I try today.
The James Sedgewick distillery was founded in 1886, and is now owned by Distell. The distillery was named after a former seafarer of the same name, who after hanging up his sea boots became a pioneer of the South African spirits industry. Their current master distiller, Andy Watts, should be well known to Scotch whisky geeks as they also own Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory distilleries.
This distillery as far as I can find out is the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa. Having seen some of the hooch proffered as I’ve travelled through many countries on the West Coast of Africa, I’d tend to believe this is true. There is whiskies made by Copper Republic and Qualito Craft Distilleries, although these are not solely whisky distilleries as they make other spirits too.
Due to my backlog of reviews and lack of any decent stories about this whisky, I’m going to do what I’ve done in the past and refer you to the brand websites so you can get the full picture there.
This dram was bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, and is batch 1. The sample was bought from Master Of Malt.
Three Ships Batch 1 (TBWC)
Region – South Africa Age – 6 y.o Strength – 53.7% abv Colour – Auburn (1.5) Cask Type – Bourbon / PX Colouring – No Chill Filtered – No
Nose – Raisins, almond nougat, honey, vanilla, oak char, dark chocolate. Slight floral note.
Palate – creamy mouth feel. Luxurious. Quickly into oak spices. Honey and liquorice, aniseed. Dried fruits and dark chocolate
Finish – medium long finish with chocolate and raisins. I detect a leathery note too.
Nice enough. Nothing I’d abandon Scotch for, but a decent dram from overseas. The palate for me was the high point, and had I bought a full bottle I’d feel I was getting my moneys worth. However I have to factor in the fact that TBWC only release 50CL bottles, so would have to consider buying an original bottling should I wish to buy in the future
Yours In Spirits
All Photos – Authors Own