Whisky Review – Three Ships 10 Year Old


A while ago, I made a couple of purchases from Master of Malt. Among the bottles, was a 10 yr. old bottle of Three Ships. I opted to buy this bottle for the following reasons.

  1. It was a Single Malt Whisky and as you already know, me likey whisky!
  2. I had never heard of the brand, but was intrigued that it comes from South Africa.
  3. I was lured in by the packaging. I am such a patsy for a pretty package.

Three Ships is from the Distell Group and is produced under the watchful eye of former cricketer turned master distiller, Andrew Watts of the James Sedgwick Distillery. (A history of the distillery can be found out at the Whisky Tasting Fellowship.). The Distill Group produces a number of South African whiskies (Three Ships, Bain’s Cape Mountain & Knights), a Scottish and South African blend (Harrier), and distributes several Scottish whiskies (The Scottish Leader, Black Bottle and Bunnahabhain) for Burn Stewart Distillers.

Tasting notes from the James Sedgwick Distillery:

The nose is floral, with just a hint of brine, plus barley, fresh pears and hessian. The palate is rounded and malty, well-balanced, with ripe peaches, honey and soft spices. The finish is medium in length, with aniseed and spice.

Now, for my review…

  • Appearance: Light, golden honey color. Nice legs coat the inside of the glass.
  • Aroma: Strong hints of astringent and oak then a floral scents with hints of vanilla, apples and pears.
  • Taste: Very soft, well-balanced with a nice buttery flavor followed by a little warming at the back of the throat and a drying finish.
  • ABV: 43%

This was a very nice find. What I would call a change-of-pace whisky. Not the peat bombs of Islay, or the heather fields of Ireland, just a nice, balanced whisky. As a final test, I passed a little to Pappy, the arbiter of all things balanced. He was quite pleased with the first glass and since he was outside of my Mother’s earshot, quickly asked for a refill. I would consider that high praise.

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6 thoughts on “Whisky Review – Three Ships 10 Year Old

    • Thanks WW! While I am driven by packaging and have picked up a dud or two along the way, Three Ships was a really nice find. I’m especially pleased that I can pass along some interesting whiskies that are not from Scotland or Ireland (like Three Ships, Brenne and Amrut) to my Pappy and develop a palette for something other than Nadurra.

      • That’s awesome! I love that whisky drinkers are so open to exploring these new whisky producing regions. It’s really exciting especially because the non-Scotch & Irish regions are able to take more innovative liberties since there aren’t decades of traditions which they need to follow. Love that your Pap’s is getting into it with you! :D Happy Friday!

        • WW,

          You are so right. It seems like the distillers are able to show a lot more improvisation with their products and this leads to a greater variety in terms of flavor profiles as the whiskies are produced at different ages and with different finishes. As for Pappy, he brought me into a love for drink; the least I can do is expand his geographic scope.

          Cheers!

  1. I am very proud to be staying in the town where this distillery is situated! Wellington, South Africa. I normally drink the whiskeys they produce. You should try and get hold of the Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish one… So nice! I recently discovered some wonderful Irish ones at a whiskey festival, and I fell in love! So glad the world opened up to me in that sense! Cheers from a sunny S.A.!

    • I found the Three Ships 10 out at the Master of Malt site. I’ll have to see if they have the Bourbon Cask as well. Glad you found a love for the IRish. They make some fantastic stuff there as well.

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