Jun 27, 2024

Boplaas whisky’s fan base recently expanded in the wake of its hometown’s biggest festival of the year. While the Calitzdorp Expressed event focuses on wine, it was a high point for Daniel Nel, sixth generation distiller at the family-owned Boplaas.

“We had an amazing festival,” he declares. It took place mid-June, over the long weekend and at the start of the school holidays. Held annually, Calitzdorp Expressed draws crowds from across the country who come for the incomparable Klein Karoo hospitality.

Boplaas was among several wineries showcasing award-winning wines, but the sole whisky producer. Daniel presented a whisky masterclass, tasting through the Boplaas whisky range and even unreleased whiskies that were sampled out of the barrel.

The Boplaas whisky range includes the core range – Boplaas Whisky (Brandy Cask), 6YO Tawny Cask and 8YO Tawny Cask. For the masterclass, there were also the newly released 10YO Single Grain Whisky (Rum Cask) and 6YO Single Malt (Springbok Edition) whiskies.

The Boplaas 10YO Rum Cask is the oldest whisky expression that Boplaas has released to date. It was crafted from South African yellow maize, aged in ex-bourbon barrels for five years and finished in a rum cask for four years. The whisky was then placed in a resh rum cask for a further three months.

The whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol, non-chilled filtered and natural in colour. On the nose, it shows notes of honey and raisins. On the palate, are notes of caramel from the bourbon cask, followed by a long rum finish.

The Boplaas 10YO Rum Cask hails from a single cask and therefore comprises a limited bottling of just 500 bottles. While first released to the Boplaas Wine and Whisky Club, it is now available to outside buyers.

The second special whisky at the masterclass was the Boplaas 6YO Single Malt, which was released just after the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup last year. All the Springbok players as well as team staff were each given a bottle.

The whisky is made from imported Scottish peated malt, double distilled, aged in ex-bourbon barrels prior to finishing in casks of vintage port from Boplaas. The whisky was bottled at cask strength of 54% alcohol.

Included in the masterclass was a visit to the Boplaas distillery and the opportunity to taste a 7YO Single Grain whisky. This expression is currently undergoing a two-year finish in a muscadel barrel. It’s something Daniel has worked on for some time and offered a glimpse of the future single cask release.

Whiskies and Boplaas’s full range of wines, ports and other spirits are available via the Boplaas online shop at Exclusively in South Africa, there’s free delivery to your door for orders above R2 000. The portfolio is also represented at several Boplaas visitor centres along the Garden Route.

For more information, email or call 044 213 3326.


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