Three Ships 6 year old Chenin Blanc finish. I know this whisky isn't available abroad, but I thought I'd share it anyway. It's the newest iteration of the annual Three Ships Master's Collection. Each year the distillery comes up with a new whisky that is finished in a different type of cask and may be made from different styles of whisky. The James Sedgwick distillery, where this liquid comes from, is a bit like Loch Lomond or Ben Nevis in the sense that they make both single grain and single malt. Examples of some of the previous bottlings in this range include a Shiraz cask finish, Fino Sherry finish, and Pinotage finish (the former being a single malt while the other two were both single blended whiskies). It makes you wonder which one they will come up with next! This is just my initial impression right after opening the bottle, which I know is not always the most accurate assessment. However, I'm already genuinely impressed with this single grain (100% malted barley was distilled in a column still) at 46.3% ABV, non-coloured and non-chill filtered. The initial maturation was four years in "American oak" casks, which I take to mean ex-bourbon barrels, before being finished for two years in Chenin Blanc seasoned casks (the type of wood is not known but based on the lightness of the whisky, it may also have been American Oak). As with all the others from the Master's Collection range, a relatively small batch was produced, with a total outrun of 2856 bottles. The Chenin Blanc grape variety is used to make white wines that are very prevalent in South Africa and are known to be dry, crisp, and zesty. This is the first time I've ever heard of a whisky finished in a cask that is seasoned with this type of wine. Tasting notes (brief): On the nose, there's a lovely decadent tropical fruitiness and rich, zesty lemon syrup. A dazzling bouquet of orchard fruits explodes immediately on the palate, followed by honey cashews and delicate aromatic spiciness, which unfurls into the finish. It's light and delicate yet oily, full-flavoured, and powerful. The age statements in this range always vary from year to year, making me think that they are simply bottling them when they are just right. I'm already not regretting picking up this bottle, and I think it's an absolute master class and deserving of the title (also very inexpensive). I'm very proud of the whiskies made in my country, and I think they can stand up to any others. It's just a shame that other people abroad can't share in the experience of many of them.

Posted by Willem Kilian at 2023-04-01 13:54:07 UTC