Sullivans Cove Whisky Masterclass

When your whisky wins the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards, you can expect to pack a full house at an industry wine event.

The 3 Winos
Sullivans Cove Whisky

Speaking at a masterclass held at the annual 3 Winos event, Sullivans Cove Marketing Manager, Bert Cason had a captive audience, everyone eagerly awaiting a tasting of the entire Sullivans Cove whisky range.

With a production the size of 20,000 bottles per year, Sullivans Cove whisky in Tasmania started in the 90s and uses a process that is closest to the Scotch whisky production as possible. The whiskies are made with quality barley from Tasmania. Brewing barley from Cascade is used and the process starts with Cascade Pale Ale brewed at 7%.

All Sullivans Cove whiskies are non-chill filtered, and all three expressions on taste were 13 YO.

Sullivans Cove Double Cask (40% ABV Batch DC 71) is a good entry level whisky, one that is easy drinking and appeals to newcomers. Bottled at 40% ABV, it was introduced as a way to keep the cost down. The whisky is aged in 40% French Oak and 60% American Oak. On the nose, there is soft fruit, ripe pears, honey and vanilla. Soft on the palate with notes of honey, ripe pears, chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Smooth and fruity, the finish is medium with hints of chocolate.

Sullivans Cove American Oak Cask (47.5% ABV Barrel HH0460) is matured in American ex-Bourbon barrels. Light straw colour, it has malt and spice on the nose with subtle nutty characters. Creamy on the palate with orchard fruit and vanilla, there is a hint of spice and some caramel on the back palate. The finish is honeyed and long.

Almost rum-like in flavour, Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask (47% ABV Barrel HH0381) is matured in port casks from McWilliams Wines in NSW which impart a darker colour on the whisky. The World’s Best Single Malt Whisky has a nose of caramel, rich dark chocolate, hints of cinnamon and orange peel. On the palate, it’s smooth, rich and sweet with flavours of toffee, chocolate and raisins. The finish is long and lingering with dried fruit and dark chocolate.

So what is next on the cards for Sullivans Cove? We can expect an aged statement in 2015, a 15 YO whisky aged in American oak, and possibly some experimental releases with Muscat and brandy barrel finishes.

The Sullivans Cove masterclass with Bert Cason was held at the 3 Winos event on Monday 4 August 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.