I was browsing through my local bottle store last week, looking for a nice whisky to take home when my eyes fell on a shiny black tin that caught my attention immediately. Then I saw the embossed Three Ships logo. Ah, it was the facelifted Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish!
Now I have a full bottle of the Bourbon Cask at home already, but I’m a sucker for sleek, well done packaging, so I picked up the “new” Bourbon Cask and took it home. It soon met up with it’s sibling and here are some side-by-side comparisons for you.
The metal tin is slightly taller and a shade wider than it’s cardboard tube counterpart.
Proudly displayed, right above the Three Ships logo, we find the Gold award, received at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge (ISC) held in London. The “Bourbon Cask Finish” and “Special Release” tags have also swapped places. Additionally, at the bottom of the tin on the front is the line “International Award Winning Whisky”. Could Distell be gearing up to get Three Ships into international markets?
The blurb on the back of the tin is still the same, and we see the Gold award shown here too. We have a new line at the bottom that reads “Matured and Distilled at The James Sedgwick Distillery, Wellington, South Africa”. Once again, another clue that they could be looking to market this fine whisky overseas.
Next, let’s look at the bottles.
The bottles themselves, as well as the screw caps, are still the same. The new front label is less cluttered, and more attention is focussed on the Bourbon Cask Finish term. And no, they don’t sell the bottles half-full! I had to *ahem* perform a quality control check on the contents inside. 😉
The rear label sees more change. It’s bigger than the old one, incorporates a picture of the distillery at the top and even the text is shinier than before. We also see the alcohol volume of 43% move from the front of the bottle to the rear.
My favourite feature though is the embossed three ships on the front. It feels great under your fingers as you caress the tin. (Oops, did I just say that out loud?) And the whisky itself? Still the same sweet and spicy taste we know and love. Did you know that the Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish is the first 100% South African blended whisky? Both the malt and grain components are matured and distilled right here in South Africa.
So my overall impression of the facelift? I really like it! The packaging and label design are a lot more refined than before and the metal just feels so much better in your hand than the old cardboard tube. If Andy Watts or one of the Distell team are reading this, drop me a line and let me know if I’m right about big plans for Three Ships to sail the Seven Seas and explore distant shores. If you are, Bon Voyage!