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Food and beverage stories

World whisky win

Edition 204_SCoveWhisky2

Sullivans Cove Distillery has been named world’s best whisky for the second year in a row, further re-enforcing Tasmania’s reputation as a serious global player in the industry.

The Cambridge based distillery has done it again, earning back-to-back titles as the ‘World's Best Single Cask Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards, which were held in London in late March.

And, in terms of prestige, there are no whisky awards more coveted than these. In fact, Sullivans Cove Head Distiller, Patrick Maguire, compares them to ‘the Wimbledon of the whisky world’.

Thousands of entries are judged blind by a large panel of journalists, distillers and other whisky experts, and, to win top gong, Sullivans Cove had to beat contenders from around the globe including whisky heavy-weights – Scotland, Japan and the USA.

“It’s hard to describe how this all feels,” Maguire told us.

“The first time we won single malt, everybody was stunned. They all thought it was a one-off, and they were saying ‘Sullivans who’?

“So, it really surprised everyone, including ourselves, when we won the second award, and what that showed is our first award wasn’t a fluke.

“To win it again, people must be thinking ‘ok these guys have got it together and they can make really good stuff year after year.’”

This prestigious global accolade propels Sullivans Cove into the record books.

It was a French Oak cask of ten-year-old whisky – TD0217 – that claimed top drop at the 2019 awards for Sullivans Cove.

This follows their win last year when a 16-year-old cask of American Oak expression was also named ‘World's Best Single Cask Single Malt’, making Sullivans Cove the only distillery to win the prestigious award twice.

Let’s not forget the distillery also won ‘World's Best Single Malt’ in 2014, which brings the number of its global accolades to three.

“To win the top gong at these awards three times, it really doesn’t get much better than that!” Maguire explains.

“When we set out to make whisky all those years ago, we always hoped we would make something of a quality we could export to the rest of the world, but never in a million years did we ever dream of anything like this.”

This is not only big news for Sullivans Cove, but also for Tasmania’s booming whisky industry.

“When I was over in London, I was getting comments all the time about our great whisky,” Maguire said.

“I think this award is showing that Tasmania can produce some world class products, and whisky is one of them.

“I really think it is putting Tasmania on the world whisky map."

So, just what is the secret of cask TD0217?

According to Production Manager, Heather Tillott, this whisky was a star from the very beginning.

"We identified this cask as a really special one as soon as we tasted it,” she explains.

“It contained all the dark maple syrup and treacle character we look for, combined with lots of prunes and plums and it has a lovely weight to it as well.

“That richness comes from the beautiful Australian fortified wine that was previously aged in the cask, which balances brilliantly with the dried spice tannin of the French oak timber."

Another golden tipple that is ensuring Tasmania continues to beat the Scots at their own game!

Image Courtesy of Sullivans Cove Distillery

23 April 2019, Edition 204

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