Oh the things we’ll do for whisky bottles… I actually sent a good whisky friend on a crusade to get me this bottle and also “forced” my brother in law to pick it up while he visited in South Africa last month.
It all started the day my sister told us they are going to South Africa for 3-4 weeks with their kids and I knew it was an opportunity to get me another world whisky bottle (and like some told me – everything is an excuse for me to get another bottle…) – I knew that there’s a whisky distillery in this southern country and I immediately consulted Mark of the famed Whisky Tasting Fellowship blog, another #whiskyfabric member living in South Africa, for bottles options and he suggested I’ll go for the Tree Ships 10yo bottle.
The first batch of this whisky was released in 2003 and was oh so very successful (this batch is very rare nowadays – if you see one of those – get it!) which led to the 2nd batch released at 2010/2011/2012 – all 3 years have same liquid but different tin cans with different ships.
The Three Ships 10 years whisky has been distilled by Andy Watts and matured at the James Sedgwick distillery in Wellington for 10 years and is the only South African single malt whisky. There are other blended whiskies from the distillery – the 5yo, bourbon cask finished and Three Ships Select and in addition, a single grain whisky – Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.
But there was a slight problem – the Three Ships 10 yo isn’t too easy to find in South Africa due to its success, But Mark volunteered to find me one of those and managed to score 2 bottles of this – one for me and one for him 🙂
To make a long story short and without resorting to cheap B-movies scenes of people in sunglasses passing suspicious packages in dark parking garages, the bottle arrived safely to my hands last week and I opened it and raised a dram to South Africa, Mandela and Mark.
Nose: Initial whiff of peat note (yay!) but not strong one, vanilla, honey, pears, toffee, wood in background – very fresh.
Palate: oak wood, oily and mouth coating, some coarse sugary candies, vanilla, spices, some liquorice notes toward the end – not very complex but still full bodied and chewy.
Finish: Medium long, lingering spicy oak wood with some earthy flavors.
Conclusion: Solid and well made whisky. My main issue is that in europe the price is much higher then other 10/12yo whiskies (due to taxes and shipping from SA) but the whisky didn’t separate itself from that crowd. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot and since I got it for the South African price (barely £17!) I feel like I made a good deal here. If you’re in South Africa or want to try a good world whisky – go hunt yourself a bottle of this whisky.