Thursday, September 29, 2016


South Africa’s Three Ships Whisky, has announced the launch of the world’s first whisky to be finished in Pinotage wine casks.

Three Ships 15 Year Old Pinotage Cask Finish (46.2% ABV) is a blended whisky, made with grain and malt components that were first matured separately in American casks, before being finish for different periods in eight casks previously used for Pinotage.
Three Ships 15 Year Old Pinotage Cask Finish

With only 3500 bottles of the 4000 bottles available for purchase by the public, the Three Ships 15 Year Old Pinotage Cask Finish, is the oldest whisky to date launched in South African history and crafted by Master Distiller Andy Watts, who sought to capture the unique heritage of South Africa in creating what is described as a rich, complex and unique whisky.

Commenting on the launch, Andy Watts, said: “Whisky finishes are nothing new, but never before has a Pinotage cask ever been used. The idea first came to me in the early 2000s but back then our industry was still very young and the world wasn’t quite ready to accept such innovation from South Africa.

He went on to say: “But I had never let go of my dream so some years later I had laid grain and malt whisky to rest in American casks for the purpose of finishing the blend in Pinotage casks. That was 15 years ago. Seems like half a lifetime has passed since then! This moment of being able to stand with the finished product in my hand is, in 25 years as a master distiller, truly the pinnacle of my career. I’m literally on cloud nine!”

The Three Ships 15 Year Old Pinotage Cask Finish, is the second release in the Master’s Collection series which, over the next few years, will see a limited edition being launched each year under the Three Ships brand.

Consumers will have the opportunity to purchase one of the first 500 bottles as part of a special online launch event on October 5th, at 12pm via

The remaining bottles of whisky will be available from October 8th (World Pinotage Day) from selected retailers across South Africa, for a RRP of R1 500 - £83.00.

Posted by Steve Rush