Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky Founder and Distiller Andy Watts signed the first bottles sold at a launch event at the airport.

Distell has launched a duty free-exclusive edition of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The 15-Year-Old Single Grain Whisky variant is the oldest grain whisky sold in South Africa, Distell said. It has made 3,600 bottles available.

Crafted at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, South Africa, the 15-Year-Old is the first in the Founder’s Collection series of whiskies. The series aims to showcase “the quality of South Africa’s sun-kissed grain whisky”, according to the brand.

The 15-Year-Old Single Grain Whisky pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain and the Bain’s Kloof Pass he built. The brand describes it as “one of his most spectacular mountain passes constructed across South Africa”.

The tribute to Bain will continue over the next few years when further editions of the Founder’s Collection of limited release single grain whiskies will be launched, featuring some of the other passes he built.

The 15-Year-Old Single Grain Whisky variant follows the standard path of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, but with an additional 10 years spent maturing in older American oak.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is double matured for three years in casks previously used for the maturation of bourbon before being revatted into a fresh set of ex-bourbon casks.

“It took me ten years to perfect Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and it was during this time that I realised that it has the potential to age much further than originally anticipated due to the flavour profile being upfront and complex,” commented Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky Founder and Distiller Andy Watts.

“But in the world of whisky nothing is immediate or guaranteed and so I went about on an exploration, hoping that my experiment would not disappoint my vision.”

Watts regularly tasted the whisky during its extra ten years of maturation, and found that the whisky was “at its most optimum” at 15 years.

The whisky will be available until stocks last, is bottled at a strength of 52.5% ABV, and retails for ZAR950 (US$68).