While South Africa is generally synonymous with fine wines, we also have a long-standing history of excellent whiskey production, with a range of world-class distilleries and whiskey bars available to visit.In 1850, James Sedgwick, captain of the clipper ‘Undine’ and the pioneer of whiskey production in the Cape, sailed into Table Bay, and soon made it his home. In 1886, he purchased a distillery in the picturesque town of Wellington and began to make whiskey. The rest, as they say, is history.
The James Sedgwick Distillery was the birthplace of the first fully blended South African whisky and South Africa’s first Single Malt and Bourbon Cask Finish (under the Three Ships Whiskey label). With the launch of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whiskey in 2009, the distillery also became home to South Africa’s first Single Grain whisky.
These fine whiskeys and more can be tasted, tested and savoured at the unique and ever popular ‘Wild about Whisky’ bar in the heart of Dullstroom, and is one of the favourite activities in this quaint little town.Opened in 2006 by whiskey fanatics, Dave and Eve Gunns and Steve Adams, as a cosy little whisky bar, it now boasts the largest whisky menu in the southern hemisphere, with over 440 whiskies to boot, and is a popular stop for visitors and locals alike.
Home to a specialist whisky retail shop, featuring a broad range of whisky at competitive prices, the shop also offers tutored whisky tastings, covering interesting facts on whisky production, the origination of flavours, and how to appreciate whisky, as well as a chance to taste some of country’s finest tipple. Visitors can choose from one of the set whisky tours, which include half a dozen ½ tots of carefully chosen whiskies, or make up their own tasting to suit personal preferences. Group tastings can also be arranged.This well-stocked and very welcoming little store in Dullstroom is a must do when passing through – either for a unique and interesting tour of the history of whiskey, or simply to enjoy a wee dram of your favourite single malt whisky. It is of course suggested that a stay in a Dullstroom hotel would definitely be advised after a ‘wee’ whiskey tasting…
Are you a fine whiskey-lover?