Sullivans Cove will release several exciting new whisky styles in the coming years. These new styles are the result of years of experiments at the distillery with various ageing techniques, yielding new flavours for whisky lovers to enjoy.
The new labels will sit within the Sullivans Cove core range of French Oak Single Cask, American Oak Single Cask, and Double Cask. The first whisky to be released is a single American oak cask that was previously used to age tawny (Australian port style) fortified wine.
This differs from the traditional Sullivans Cove American Oak releases which use ex-bourbon casks; Sullivans Cove says the flavour profile of the cask sits somewhere in between its French and American Oak styles, combining the malt and vanilla sweetness of American oak with the rich dried fruit character of fortified wine.
Both Sullivans Cove French Oak and American Oak have won “World’s Best” titles in recent years, so American Oak Tawny represents the best of both worlds.
“When we filled these casks about a decade ago, we had already seen good results from American oak bourbon and French oak tawny casks, so we thought it was time to experiment with different kinds of oak,” says Sullivans Cove Head Distiller Patrick Maguire.
“We couldn’t be happier with the results. We’ve laid more down recently but they won’t be ready for at least ten years, so this is a great opportunity to try some of our early successes.”
The first cask, TD0074, was aged for 11 years, bottled at 47.5% ABV and produced only 488 bottles. This whisky has notes of cherry blossom, dried apples, and liquorice for a sweet, aromatic and broad nose. Intense nuttiness with beeswax and musky oak balances the sweet aromas along with vanilla bean, warm citrus and milk chocolate flavours.
This cask will be made available to subscribers of the Sullivans Cove mailing list first, with any remaining stock released to the public at a later date.
“Transparency is really important to us, so we want people to understand that both the kind of oak itself, as well as what the cask was previously used for, have a major influence on the character of our whiskies,” Managing Director Adam Sable says.
“This release has been aged in American Oak, so it’s getting a black label just like our standard release. But because that cask was previously used to age tawny fortified wine instead of bourbon, we’re giving it a blue stripe so people understand there’s a different flavour profile here.”
Expect to see other releases within this series in the future, including other American and French Oak variations, as well as special editions of Double Cask, like the recent collaboration between Sullivans Cove and Melbourne venue Whisky & Alement to create a bespoke vatted expression.