Today we do a small detour from Scotland to the southern hemisphere, all the way down to South Africa. It’s only in recent years that the Three Ships brand name got recognized outside SA, thanks to the internet, bloggers and whisky aficionados who hunted and carried in their luggage SA whisky to Europe. I got introduced to Three Ships a couple of years ago thanks to Mark and with his help I managed to secure a bottle of the 10 Year Old limited edition (see my review here).
But it’s been quiet on the Three Ships front for a while until Distill (the owners of James Sedgwick Distillery and the Three Ships brand) finally listened to the public calls, saw the rise of single malts around the world and let Andy Watts go on with new releases: An annual release of the 10 Year Old (Starting next month!) along with a few special bottlings and the first one was a 10 Year Old that was was aged in bourbon casks for almost 11 years and finished in a PX cask for 14 months. And once again, thanks to Mark (and the couriers) I got a bottle to drink from.
Three Ships 10 Year Old PX Cask Finish (46.2%, 800 bottles, $60)
Nose: For a 10 year old it’s very mellow and very mature. Good sherry influence here with mellow dried fruits and lots of nuttiness, definitely not overpowering. Wood spices and gentle peat smoke. I really like it.
Palate: Hmmm this is good. Velvety and surprisingly thick with gentle earthy peat (more like the mainland Scottish variants), dried fruits (more purple than red on the spectrum), relatively heavy nuttiness with lots of mellow cooked nutmeg and oak wood spices.
Finish: Medium length finish with fruits sweetness, traces of smoke and lingering nuttiness.
Thoughts: A bit different from your average 10 Year Old Scottish whisky. Not only different but considerably better then most of them with that excellent PX influence and the extra maturation thanks to the hotter climate of South Africa which makes those 10 years approximately like 15 years in Scotland. For 60 USD it was a no-brainer and I should have bought more!