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Packaging redesign for Three Ships whisky

The South African Three Ships whisky has introduced a new label design and bottle shape for its range, which will be available from mid-October.

Marketing manager Liezl Dippenaar says: “The new packaging enriches the visual cues of the brand and gives a greater prominence on shelf due to its fresh and contemporary design. Our aim was to add a more modern and premium look to our brand without compromising on our proud heritage.”

It’s been almost four decades since the first Three Ships whisky was launched and the years since have been filled with many milestones and achievements for the brand, including World’s Best Blended Whisky award at the 2012 World Whisky Awards as well as a gold and double gold at other major international whisky competitions. 

Dippenaar says extensive research went into the bottle design which now features more prominent and distinctive lines and curves. “Bold and dynamic elements such as the masculine shoulders, thicker glass base and new label shape all blend seamlessly with the iconic Three Ships illustration, the rope detail in the logo lock-up and embossing which allows for easier handling and a perfect pour.”

New release

Three Ships Whisky is also launching a rare single cask single malt whisky. Only 800 bottles of the Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX Finish whisky, bottled by hand and numbered, have been released by master distiller Andy Watts. Distilled in 2005, the whisky was initially matured for eight years and ten months in American oak where after a small quantity was selected to spend a further 14 months in a cask in which Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry had previously been matured.

The whisky forms part of the Masters Collection which will see a limited edition being launch, each year, over the next years under the Three Ships brand.

The whisky is un-chillfiltered, natural in colour and bottled at 46.2% abv.

Says Andy: “Local whisky lovers have long been asking me to produce something extra special and while cask finishes have been produced for many years around the globe, it was time for Three Ships to make history for the South African whisky industry. Although the challenges presented by different cask finishes have occupied us for a number of years, we didn’t want to release a new whisky just to satisfy the demand. The product had to be right in every aspect and I believe what we have here was certainly worth the wait.”

Andy experimented with various casks for a few years before selecting the PX for the particular effect it has on whiskies with a presence of smoke and peat. “Pedro Ximenez is a white Spanish wine grape varietal used for the production of a sweet-style sherry. The raisiny richness it imparts to the cask was the perfect finishing touch I wanted to complement the smokiness of our single malt with some sweet, nutty flavours.”

Andy selected only a small percentage of the limited edition Three Ships single malt he had been working on at the time (due for release in 2016) to spend a finishing period in a single PX cask.

 “The end result has not disappointed and the decision to produce only one cask has turned this whisky into a very rare collector’s item.”   

The Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX finish is complex with delicate sweet notes from the sherry cask which lifts the nose with prunes, dates, figs and fruitcake and combines effortlessly with the elegant smokiness of the malt. The whisky is powerful and lingering in its taste and finish.

Available from 27 October only online at, Norman Goodfellows, Whisky Brother and The limited edition will retail for about R850.

12 October 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor