Dram Review: Sullivans Cove Double Cask Bottled for Whisky + Alement (DC-WA1)

[50.3%・10 Years Old・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling for Whisky + Alement・Cask No. HH0042, TD0225・Limited Release of 218 Bottles]

Nose:

Rather a grand presence of thick, gooey honey, buttero leather, lemon zest and French vanilla, slightly burnt butter off the crust of pastries fresh out of the oven with some hay and coconut flakes at the back.

Palate & Finish:

A pleasant more-ish delivery of fine honey with some playful crystallised sultana and creamy mango pudding dressed with salted caramel.  Toffee treacle dripping across walnuts and pecans as the malt retains this certain crispness.

The syrupy note seasoned with nutmeg stretches out for a lovely earthy finish.

Thoughts:

A project led by Ms. Hayman and Mr. White of Whisky + Alement, a drammer’s take on Sullivans Cove. My takeaway? get experienced people involved.

A proud Australian distillery owner often wears many hats, he or she is typically a brewer, distiller, distillery manager, blender and marketer amongst other things.  Working day in and day out at a distillery would naturally give a unique perspective on how to best distill a spirit however the same cannot be said about curating an expression: Which casks to pick? What’s the vatting ratio? Which ABV to bottle at?  These are just a few questions that often go unanswered resulting in a release of a single cask cask strength Australian whisky by default.

I have great respect for both Brooke and Julian’s palates and I think their years at Whisky + Alement allowed them to offer an unique take; perhaps they were inspired by a certain small batch whisky they have come across previously and wanted to see if the same formula would work with Sullivans Cove casks.  One have to drink a thousand whiskies to know a thousand ways to make a whisky.

I have always liked the idea of a small batch at 80:20 ratio ever since the Last Vatted Malt.  For the Double Cask, the Tawny cask added to the depth and I really like this sweet, earthy note it carries.  The age also makes the whisky more graceful in my opinion.

And so I say this is my favourite Australian whisky of 2018.

☆ [Recommended]

Cheers Julian for helping me acquire the bottle, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas

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