Award winning master, Andy Watts. Picture supplied

Whisky is dear to my heart, so when I got an invite to attend the Bains Whisky tasting and pairing hosted by Master Blender and founder distiller Andy Watts, I was really excited. 

Excited because I will be learning more about this special “World’s Best Grain Whisky” that people are talking about.

At the event which was held at Little Havana restaurant in the Umhlanga Village Watts  shared the journey of this exquisite whisky at various stages in its life cycle, drawn directly off the still as well as from the barrels.

It’s no secret that today’s whisky world is becoming more exciting with whisky innovations hitting a stride and people like  Watts  leading the pack.

Watts fulfilled a demand for premium offerings by creating a whisky that could not be replicated anywhere else in the world- and perfecting what is known today as South Africa’s first single grain whisky.

Various stages of the Bains Single Grain Whisky in its life cycle. Picture: Buhle Mbonambi

To me, whisky is whisky, but there’s no doubt about the distinct differences between each kind of whisky. What makes Bain’s Single Grain Whisky even more interesting really is that it is a first of its kind here in  South Africa .

Talking about innovation, during his presentation Watts said they have become innovative in a way that they have found creative ways to use home-grown raw material to their best advantage and that they are constantly working towards the future and have some whiskies that will bring enjoyment to people like us whisky lovers in a few year’s time.

Bains Single Grain Whisky’s life cycle

  • The first stage the whisky was pure clear with no colour- just like spirit vodka with 43% alcohol.
  • At this stage the whisky presents a lot of flavour and is very strong on the palate but once mixed with water everything changes- the whisky becomes sweet, smooth and gentle.
  • On the second stage the whisky presents more colour but even mixed with water it still produced strong flavours on the nose but in a balanced way.
  • The third stage presented the casting process. In this process the liquid material is usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. So at this stage all he wanted to do was to achieve the sweetness and smoothness of the whisky. You can actually taste and smell the fruit notes and spices of the whisky.
  • And the fourth stage was the final product of the whisky a delicious combination of honey, toffee aromas and by adding water the whisky displays hints of vanilla and light spice of course with a smooth finish- exactly the end result he wanted to achieve.  

I was introduced to Bains whisky at the Whisky Live Festival mid last-year- I fell in love with it, its superb grain whisky which is different from some of the scotch whiskies I’ve had. It’s very light and smooth as mentioned, making a great whisky introduction for the non-whisky drinkers.

Bains Single Grain Whisky has been recognised and awarded in many events since it launched. It has won awards like the Whiskies of the World Trophy, the highest honour at the International Spirits Competition (ISC) that were held in London two years ago and has been recently awarded the title of World's Best Grain Whisky with Watts also being awarded the title of global Icon of Whisky Master Distiller or Master Blender for 2018.