Sixth generations of distilling

Our history of distilling quality spirits dates to 1880, when the first order of potstill brandy casks was sent to Cape Town harbour by ox-wagon for delivery to London. After the repeal of distilling licenses in the early 1920’s, Boplaas’ copper pot still lay dormant for almost 70 years until it was fired up again in 1989. Five years later, in 1994, Boplaas released the very first estate brandy: the Boplaas 5 Year Old Pot Still Estate Brandy. Early 1994 on a flight from George to Johannesburg, oupa Danie Nel landed on a seat next to Nelson Mandela. Danie Nel was a friendly and highly sociable person and they instantly became friends and maintained contact afterwards. Later that year Nelson Mandela phoned Danie and ordered some of the Boplaas 5 Year Old Pot still Brandy to be served at the presidential inauguration banquet.

Home grown

Our whisky is made exclusively from 100% South African-grown maize, which is world renowned for its quality and flavour. We will only use the very best for our range of whiskies.

Water of Life

Water is a cornerstone of whisky-making and at Boplaas we use the highest quality from crystalline streams that flow from the snow-capped Swartberg mountains. This same source gives life to plants, animals and people of the Klein Karoo.


The Klein Karoo’s warmer and drier climate optimises the interaction of spirit and cask wood, allowing for higher extraction of flavours and deeper ageing. The annual evaporation is in excess of 5% per year compared to 1-2% in the Scottish Highlands, but in exchange for this higher loss our whisky gains in super-smoothness and concentration.

We use ex-Bourbon casks, leaving the whisky to mature for five years. This gives it a creamy mouthfeel with toffee and vanilla notes. The whisky is then transferred for “finishing” to different barrels that provide a new range of flavour expressions.

French oak barrels that once held Tawny Port give extra depth of flavour in the making of our 6YO Tawny Port Cask Whisky. Port casks are among the rarest to come by as some of the world’s most sought-after whiskies are aged in them.

As a producer of port wine consistently voted South Africa’s best and highly rated internationally, we’re naturally happy to use the best selection of our own with which to finish our whisky.