Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask

2013 Winner: Port Fulfillment

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26th Jul 2013

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Tasting Notes by vanPelt

I initially got this as part of a DbtD package showcasing 5 Whisky Magazine 2013 winners. This was "Best Australian Single Malt". In the end, this was my "winner of the winners".

First vapor: Initial industrial rust and hot red pepper flake aroma passes. (And luckily has little to do with the rest of the experience.)

Nose: A buttery vanilla becomes a little nuttier-- rather like milk chocolate. Breathing time brings out a little banana bread and acetone, which makes that chocolate seem a tone darker.

Palate: A sweet entrance of... gummy bear candies-- really! A little punch of tutti frutti. Turns to cinnamon with banana and bitter orange; then to acetone, sweet black liquorice, and tickles of white pepper.

Finish: Definitely fruitcake on further swallowing; then becoming less sweet. Nutty exhale: macadamia or cashew.

From the first time I heard of a port matured whisky, I have hoped for a noticeable fruity influence in a malt (I am a port lover). However, I have usually found the flavors are not imparted or are far too subtle; so it's a pleasure to finally experience a malt that reveals the port aging. The 'Gummy Bear' on the palate is of course not as cheap/artificial as it sounds, but it is the closest association, and I think it's a delightfully playful addition to a dram that clearly has other elements to appreciate.

I also like that the palate is not predictable from the nose: milk chocolate turning into fruity accents makes for an energizing expression. This contrast imparts character rather than imbalance. My only wish is that the palate finished a tad sweeter to balance some of the bitterness of white pepper. But this is not a big detractor; the French Oak Cask is my "2013 winner", and I have made sure to secure my own bottle.


Whisky details


Tasmania Distillery


Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask




Pale Gold



vanPelt wrote:

It is probably worth mentioning that I now realize that this malt was rated 96.5 by Jim Murray and labeled "Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year 2013". So I guess I wasn't too far off. Here's one link:

06 November 2013 21:35

vanPelt wrote:

This whisky has now been crowned "World's Best Single Malt Whisky 2014"! So my 'secret' is out, and sadly my chances of replenishing have dwindled. Now I just hope that the precious bottles end up in the right hands and the right mouths to appreciate them.

So if you are now lucky enough to obtain a bottle, my message is to please be sure to allow significant breathing. You might find that a fresh bottle has diminished sensations, so it could appear weak in both the nose and palate. Don't despair and don't pass it off! Leaving the opened bottle untouched, even for just a month, can bring out wonderful elements. I took another dram from my bottle just about a month ago (after maybe 6 months) and appreciated it more than ever.

24 March 2014 21:19

talexander wrote:

Amazing that you called it - "2013 Winner" - brilliant. I can only hope and dream that one day I'll get to try it, based on your recommendation and on the recommendation of so many others. I have had other Sullivan's Cove whiskies, and they were interesting - though not quite to my taste.

25 March 2014 03:27

vanPelt wrote:

Ha! I know, just my luck to have an anachronistic-looking title now. @talexander , I hope that you'll be able to try it too, and I'll look forward to hearing your impressions. Your comment about other Sullivan's Cove whiskies prompts me to polish up one of my pending reviews, of their Double Cask. I will link to it here soon, hopefully this week.

25 March 2014 17:07

vanPelt wrote:

...And here it is:

30 March 2014 14:12

roaza wrote:

Afternoon Boys,

I have got my hands on a Bottle of Sullivan Cove French Oak Port Cask HH0537 bottle 297 of 484,do you know anyone that would like to buy it.


24 November 2014 06:12

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