Three Ships Select – Tasting Notes

Recently we got the pleasure to share a couple of drams with Andy Watts, master whisky distiller and only the sixth manager at The James Sedgwick Distillery since it was established in 1886. 

A very passionate person about making whisky. He brought us some samples to explore of the Three Ships Select, Three Ships 5 years old Premium Select, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and the South Africa’s first single Grain whisky Bain’s. 

Thanks for sharing those with us Andy, it was great being able to meet you in Amsterdam. Our wish to visit South Africa only became more strongly now and we hope to be able to make the trip soon and to visit the distillery.  First I am tasting the Three Ships Select what was launched in 1977. What are they telling us about it and the distillery?

It’s a high-quality, smooth-tasting blend of fine grain and malt South African and Scotch whiskies that have been left to age in specially selected oak casks for a minimum of three years.

With the exception of Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt, the fleet of whiskies produced at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington are blended whiskies made from a combination of finished malt and grain whiskies. Both the malt and the grain are distilled separately and then, only after a minimum period of three years in wood, do we combine the fruits of our labour to form a blended whisky.

Our internationally acclaimed fleet of whiskies is a testament to a heritage of pioneering craftsmanship that has resulted in South Africa’s first whisky brand, the first blend of South African and Scotch whiskies, SA’s first single malt whisky and SA’s first 100% South African blended whisky.
Please have a look at their website for more information on the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington or here to read more on the first single Grain whisky in South Africa Bain’s. Had a taste of the 10 year old earlier, one to have a closer look at again some day for sure. Now first on to tasting the Three Ships Select.   
Nose
Soft and creamy nose. Grain and malty notes at first then some light fresh citrus notes combined with some 7-up. Light metallic but also some floral notes like buttercups and dandelions. Vanilla, sweet notes combined with red apples.   
Palate
Light citrus notes combined with the vanilla sweetness. White chocolate, raisins and strawberries. Also some banana, white grapes, red apple and red berries emerge on the palate. 
It is a bit creamy at first, but then changes a bit to a hint of wood and metallic. Makes me think a bit of some walnuts, just a small hint of cinnamon and ice tea combined with a very big slice of lemon in it.  
Finish
Not so long finish and sweet for sure. The citrus combined with the white chocolate creaminess comes back after the nuts and ice tea, and leaves a buttery mouth feel.
Score
Scored me an 7 out of 10. It is fresh, fruity and sweet, very nice for a very warm summer day as we are having now. Not too overpowering, all flavors are gently and balanced appearing on the nose and palate… Nice and relaxed….
Soon to follow the notes on the Three Ships 5 years old Premium Select, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and the South Africa’s first single Grain whisky Bain’s . 
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