Even though I’m a big proponent of supporting local retailers and shops, I sometimes use a global e-commerce website which specialises in selling and shipping a dizzying array of shite, like sugar-free gummy bears and bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label for £500, and some awesome stuff like life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Ainsley Harriot and cushions with Nicolas Cage’s face on them.
In amongst the weirdly priced whiskies and pointless sweets, you will find a bit of an oddity; a South African grain whisky which crops up amongst the Taliskers, Aberlours, and Jamesons.
Not one to shirk trying something new and having honed my penny-pinching amongst the world’s best in Aberdeen, I was happy to part with the reasonable sum of £23.99 in exchange for a bottle. Unbelievably you can sometimes find it for as low as £20, but generally it is priced around £26.
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is a single grain (South African maize) whisky from The James Sedgwick Distillery, Wellington, South Africa. Multi-award winning, it is aged for just over 5 years, spending 3 years in first fill ex-bourbon casks before spending the remaining 2 years or so being re-filled in to fresh first fill ex bourbon casks.
Bottled at 40% so nae water is needed. Rested for less than 5 minutes in a Glencairn.
Nose: Custard creams, vanilla pods, and freshly baked shortbread. There’s a whiff of dried grass on a summer’s day. It’s very bourbon-like, minus any spice or bite.
Palate: Flambéed banana and vanilla ice cream; sweet and moreish with a caramel undertone. Fresh pastry flavour such as pear strudel with oak subtley floating about in the background. Nothing confusing or complex going on.
Finish: Quite short. Faint smattering of sugar mice and then it’s over. Probably the weakest part of the whisky, but that feels like nitpicking given how uncomplicated and effortless this whisky is to enjoy.
This is a great dram to sit and sip – the epitome of a (responsible) daily drinker. It’s tasty, isn’t going to blow your socks off with a jet fuel ABV or have you questioning its intricacies, and can be replenished at a price that is affordable to a tight-fisted Scotsman. A bottle that can be enjoyed by new or seasoned whisky drinkers, and one I would generally have in the cabinet.