Single malt whisky - tasting notes

18 Jul 2013

Sullivan’s Cove ‘French Oak’

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted 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.

  • http://whiskywaffle.com Whisky Waffle

    The winning barrel was HH525 – but next to impossible to get your hands on these days. I like Sullivan’s Cove. They have a flavour very specific to the distillery. The French Oak is certainly their best. Though I find myself enjoying a few other Tassie distilleries more. Lark are phenomenal. Nant are producing some fantastic drops. And my home town distillery of Hellyers Road have just released a wonderful 12 year old. So there is certainly more to Tasmanian whisky than Sullivan’s Cove.
    Keep on Waffling,
    Nick

  • Pb

    I just tried Lark Distillers edition…blows Sullivan’s Cove out of the water. Loved it!!!! Unbelievably expensive though.

  • http://whiskywaffle.com Whisky Waffle

    The Lark Distillers is a Whisky Waffle favourite: http://whiskywaffle.com/2014/09/18/lark-port-wood-distillers-edition/
    Fantastic drop: expensive, but not ridiculously so (in Tassie at least).
    The cask strength is magnificent, too!
    Keep on waffling,
    Nick

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1817 notes by Ruben

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