SA whisky wins best in world award

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Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the proudly South African single-grain whisky, has won the World’s Best Grain Whisky award and its founder distiller Andy Watts has won the global Icon of Whisky Master Distiller/Master Blender award for 2018.

The awards, presented annually by the United Kingdom’s Whisky Magazine, attract fierce competition from well-known Scottish, Irish, American, Japanese, Taiwanese, and other brands from around the world in an attempt to be named the world’s best and be recognised as an industry leader in the Icons of Whiskies.

The results were announced at a gala dinner at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London on Thursday.

Watts was at the dinner to receive the awards and said the win was overwhelming news for the brand and South Africa. He said receiving the two world titles in one night was the most humbling experience of his 34-year career in the whisky industry.

“We have overcome the odds against the perceived perception that only traditional whisky producing countries can be taken seriously. Our industry in South Africa is only 40 years old and although we’ve had many hurdles along the way, we have become innovative in our approach to manage our unique warmer climate, found creative ways to use home-grown raw material to our best advantage, and constantly strive for crafting exceptional whiskies,” Watts said.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the only whisky in the world to be made from 100% South African maize, is smooth due to its rather unique double maturation over a five-year period in casks previously used for bourbon. It took Watts 10 years to develop Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky before it was released in 2009 and since then this whisky has created a tidal wave of interest for its unique taste.

The whisky was first named the World’s Best Grain Whisky in 2013 and has received gold and double gold awards at all the major international whisky competitions.