Home News Proudly South African whisky goes green for sustainability

Proudly South African whisky goes green for sustainability

“Making whisky is not just about the liquid. It’s about finding ways to lessen the impact on the environment,” believes Andy Watts, founder distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

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Proudly South African Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky – twice awarded as the world’s best grain whisky – has launched a limited-edition green label to celebrate the James Sedgwick Distillery’s recent accolades for sustainability.

Home to Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Western Cape, was initially recognised with the prestigious Green Company of the Year award hosted by the BIG Awards for Business towards the end of 2019.

Now it has also won the title of Sustainable Distillery of the Year at the 2020 Icons of Whisky Awards held annually by Whisky Magazine in London, beating competition from all producers across the globe ranging from Scotland, America and Ireland to Australia.

Andy Watts, founder distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, says in a whisky-world of similar, he chose to reinterpret the mastery of whisky-making. Photo: Supplied / Food For Mzansi
Andy Watts, founder distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, says in a whisky-world of similar, he chose to reinterpret the mastery of whisky-making. Photo: Supplied / Food For Mzansi

Andy Watts, founder distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, says in a whisky-world of similar, he chose to reinterpret the mastery of whisky-making. Photo: Supplied / Food For Mzansi Watts, founder distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, says in a whisky-world of similar, he chose to reinterpret the mastery of whisky-making.

“Bain’s was launched in 2009, long before single grain whisky became a trend around the globe.  My vision for this whisky was to offer consumers something truly South African,” he says.

‘Masterful double extraction of flavour and colour’

Mountain Whisky has launched a limited-edition green label to celebrate The James Sedgwick Distillery’s recent accolades for sustainability. Photo: Supplied
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky has launched a limited-edition green label to celebrate their recent accolades for sustainability. Photo: Supplied

“It all started with South African yellow maize, light and sweet in taste, and maturing the spirit not once but twice, in new rather than the customary older wood.

“The result is nowhere near similar to any other whisky. The masterful double extraction of flavour and colour, and incredible smoothness has led to Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky being awarded as the World’s Best Grain Whisky not once, but twice in 2013 and 2018.”

Watts says that together with the warm South African climate which accelerates maturation, resulting in an exceptional smooth whisky with extraordinary flavour, the whisky is truly one of a kind.

The distillery, the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa, has been at the forefront of innovation with state-of-the-art equipment and ingenious sustainability projects.

“Making whisky is not just about the liquid. It’s about finding ways to lessen the impact on the environment,” says Watts.

‘Whisky grains’ for animal feed

The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Western Cape is the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa. Photo: Supplied / Food For Mzansi

Over the years the distillery team has implemented a number of initiatives, including:

  • recycle spent grains for animal feed which is high in protein;
  • through a reverse osmosis plant the distillery treats waste water on site;
  • spent grain is taken to the anaerobic digester where it (animal feed) is separated from the waste water, which is then treated in a reverse osmosis plant to a standard where it can be re-used in the process as boiler water. This results in an approximate saving of 35% of our water requirements;
  • capturing methane gas as a by-product from the anaerobic digester in order to reduce coal usage; and
  • by collecting the CO² emanated during fermentation, the distillery repurposes this greenhouse gas for use in carbonated drinks.
Staff Reporter
Staff Reporter
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