Single malt whisky - tasting notes

18 Jul 2013

Sullivan’s Cove ‘French Oak’

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * World

This Tasmanian Sullivan’s Cove was finished in French Oak port wine casks. It is bottled as a single cask, varying between 11 and 12 years old. It won various awards, e.g. ‘Best Australian Whisky’ at the 2013 World Whiskies Awards, and even ‘World’s Best Single Malt Whisky’ at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards. Although I have to repeat my annoyance with awards and their inability (or deliberate unwillingness) to state which cask they’ve tried exactly (as this whisky is always bottled as a single cask).

 

Sullivan's Cove French OakSullivan’s Cove ‘French Oak’ (47,5%, OB +/- 2012, HH436)

Nose: big fresh oak shavings, nice vanilla cream and lots of apple compote with cinnamon. Gooseberries and pineapples. Some powder sugar and wine gums. Subtle nutty notes. Despite the newish oak this is a very attractive nose, definitely better than the Double Cask. Mouth: very sweet and candied. Bags of Haribo bears. Mashed banana. Toffee and caramel. Traces of mango and coconut cream. Toasted oak. Also cake notes and a little white pepper, but the sweetness is overpowering. Finish: quickly fading, still very sweet but with a leathery / planky edge.

This is the better Sullivan’s Cove in my book. Not perfect – I doubt there weren’t better single malts this year. Noticeably young as well, but quite enjoyable and friendly. Around € 80 (too expensive, I think).

Score: 85/100

Sullivan’s Cove ‘French Oak’ 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-07-18
  • pb

    I managed to get my hands on this in the US—it’s hardly available here. Easy drinking—-hints of sweet caramel, coconut and vanilla. Really opens up with a bit of ice. I know it won the best in class award this year, but honestly (not that I’m an expert with vast experience), I think I’ve had better for the same price. It’s definitely very good…but, not sure the $150 I paid for it are worth it.

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Ben Nevis 1997 (Abbey Whisky)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1599 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.