World’s Best Grain Whisky is Proudly South African

Andy Watts entered the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London, after a 12 hour flight, to attend a gala dinner held by Whisky Magazine. I’m sure he must have felt at least a little nervous. You see,  every year Whisky Magazine tries to find the best whiskies in the world, and since earliest records of whisky-making are centuries old, it’s by no means easy. There are places where generations of distillers have been building on the legacy and experience of their predecessors for hundreds of years. Andy Watts, is representing Bain’s distillery from South Africa. A country whose whisky industry is barely 40 years old.

For a decade Andy Watts has been tinkering and developing Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, made using 100% maize and bourbon casks, and after all the years of testing and adjusting he was finally in London, waiting to hear what the judges thought of his creation. To add to the pressure, Bain’s is the only commercial distillery in Africa.

When I found out that we had won I was truly proud, and also a little ashamed. Honestly, I knew we had some good whisky, but I had always focused predominantly on whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, and Taiwan. I was happily wrong.

I heard that Bain’s would have a stand at the annual whisky festival, Whisky Live, so I had to go and show my support, and taste the whisky from a new point of view.

They even churned some alcoholic ice cream, which was surprisingly strong, and tasted great. The big problem with making alcoholic ice cream is that alcohol doesn’t freeze at home freezer temperatures, hence the liquid nitrogen. If you would like to make some home-made alcoholic ice cream that still have a good amount of alcohol then read this recipe.

It was a fun evening, and glad we got there early – it gets packed!

{Note: we were guests of Bain’s. All thoughts are my own. Images by Candice Bresler, unless otherwise stated.}