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I read about Sullivan Cove's award winning single cask whisky only quite recently after it won some of the top accolades at the World Whisky Awards this year.
I don't really care much for awards, mind you, but this one truly deserved all the praise it was getting. It was cask #525 which was responsible for taking the whisky world by storm.
I was lucky enough to sample that and was suitably impressed. OK extremely impressed. Here's a link to that review if you don't believe me connosr.com/reviews/sullivans-cove/…
Now I was quite curious to see how the other casks would play out. After a bit of hunting I managed to get my hands on Cask 537.
While quite competent it does not hold a candle to the award-winning Cask 525 which, in my opinion, is asking for a lot. And it is precisely the reason why whisky fascinates me so much. The same spirit matured in exactly the same way can yield such contrasting results.
Nose: Clove. Cinnamon. Chocolate. Red plums. Lots of berries. Black peppers. Mocha. Caramel Marchiato. Red grapes. Overwhelming red apple. Sandalwood. It's a nice unusual offering with the French Oak imparting a lot of spices.
Palate: Not a lot on offer here. Oak. Apples. Brown dates. Chocolate mocha. Cinnamon. And did I mention oak? Doesn't deliver the same level balance and intensity as 525.
Finish: Medium. Cinnamon. Oak.
While this sample may not have lived up to it's brothers' stellar reputation I respect the art of the single cask process. Spirit the way it's supposed to be.