Although not a partner in the Cellar Door Collection Passport, we thought you would be interested to hear about an exciting new tasting experience now open in Wellington.
You’re either surprised or delighted that South Africa makes whisky! And with the James Sedgwick Distillery, home to SA Whisky, now open to the public, many a whisky-lover can now experience the ‘angels share’ first hand. This month one lucky person will win two tickets to this prestigious experience, worth R700. Enter here.
Simon Dicks, the distillery’s Brand Home Manager, is the knowledgeable guide that visitors meet when joining for a tasting and tour. If you haven’t yet experienced Simon’s enthusiasm for whisky and the passion that goes into each bottle produced then it’s high time you visit the distillery in Wellington which is open on Fridays and Saturdays at 10.00 and again at 14.00 with pre-booking required on www.webtickets.co.za
This is truly a one of a kind experience, where whisky-lovers can for the first time explore the passion and craftsmanship of South African whiskies, come to understand the art of whisky-making, learn about the rich history of the distillery spanning 130 years and taste some of the world’s best whiskies.
The distillery is a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town City Centre situated in the quaint town of Wellington. It’s one of the most beautiful whisky distilleries in the world with sweeping views of the Hawekwa and Groenberg Mountains, The James Sedgwick Distillery was awarded as Best Brand Innovator in Whisky Magazines’ 2011 Icons of Whisky as well as in 2015 named Best International Whisky Distillery at the New York International Spirits Competition so you certainly won’t be disappointed when you take the drive out!
Set a couple of hours aside for this unique whisky experience. It’s a languid affair of whisky making, the South African whisky industry and the whiskies that have become some of the most talked about around the world. Tastings and tours are limited to 10 people and offered at set-times to ensure a personal experience. On arrival, enjoy a whisky-cocktail followed by an on-foot tour to witness first-hand how the whiskies are crafted through the various stages from raw material to distillation to maturation. Back at the tasting room, you will be presented with a tasting of three whiskies paired with five sample dishes.
Food and Whisky Pairing – Match your own
Everyone appreciates a really good whisky. Add food and you have an extraordinary taste experience. The whisky and sample food tasting at The James Sedgwick Distillery is not your conventional tasting. It doesn’t predict but merely guides you to discover for yourself how the flavours of certain dishes complements the aromas found within a particular whisky. The cross-dual dishes were selected in such a way that they don’t only match one particular whisky – try them with the various whiskies and decide for yourself which pairing strikes gold.
The whiskies to taste are Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and Three Ships 5 Year Old Premium Select. The five dishes are apple chips, smoked apple chips, smoked beef, blue and goats cheese with fennel and celery, smoked snoek, 70% dark chocolate mousse and a pumpkin pie. The only guide is to match the intensity of the whisky with the intensity of the dish. So if the food has a sweet or spicy undertone, try one of the blends or the lighter styled whiskies. The more complex whiskies will benefit from the fuller flavoured dishes, unraveling each whisky aroma with every bite you enjoy.
Think you can be a Master Distiller?
If you’re a true fan of whisky you might think being a master distiller is a dream job! Now you too can try your hand at blending your own whisky with South Africa’s first micro-distillery. With the innovative technology and a custom-made simulation of a whisky distillery you can select from slightly peated to the heavy peated malt, older and lighter wood grain expression to create the exact balance you think your palate would enjoy. If you don’t trust your own judgement then select one of the pre-select blends made by master distiller Andy Watts, watch as your whisky is blended and presented in a gift box to savour at home.
Did you know?
The Distillery is named after Captain James Sedgwick who sailed into Table Bay in 1850, decided to settle at the Cape by opening a tavern and importing business for liquor and tobacco. After his death his company purchased in 1886 the buildings that house the Distillery today. Over the years, the Distillery was home to a variety of liquor products and it was in 1990 that whisky was first made here.
What makes SA Whisky so different?
The South African whisky industry is much younger than the traditional whisky producing countries – only 40 years to be exact! So we have over the years become more innovative in our approach to experiment with various styles and finishes. Although our whiskies are made exactly to the same set of rules as in Scotland, we are not held back by a tradition of whisky-making at all.
What is the Angel’s Share?
During maturation, the natural extraction of flavour from the casks creates a unique condition where by the air, spirit and wood result in the evaporation of alcohol into the air. The magical experience is essential to the production of whisky and one can almost taste the whisky when spending time in the enchanting maturation warehouse where various types of casks rest for a period of anything between three and 25 years. The aging process is where our spirit truly realises their character and the rich aroma when you enter the maturation cellar is thanks to the warmer South African climate that accelerates the interaction.
- All tours and tastings are for over 18’s only with booking in advance essential.
- Fri & Sat – 10h00 and 14h00 for up to 10 guests.
- Booking and payment essential 48 hours in advance by visiting www.webtickets.co.za
- No bookings can be made at the distillery or on arrival
R350 per person for a welcome drink, tour of the distillery, and three whiskies paired with five food sample dishes to explore the various flavour combinations and match your favourite.
Once you have discovered the aromas of your favourite South African whiskies you can purchase these before departure. Limited release whiskies, only available at the Distillery, will from time to time be offered for purchase to continue the extraordinary experience you had at home or to share the moment with someone special in the form of a gift.