World Whiskies Awards

SCFOSullivans Cove was named best craft distillery outside the United Kingdom.

Sullivans Cove owner Patrick Maguire said the award, which came after the distillery won world’s best whisky last year, had cemented Tasmania’s reputation internationally.

“This has told me that the outside world and the giants of the whisky distilling industry have accepted what we’re doing and to me that’s a mind-blowing thing,” he said.

“I thought it would take many, many more years before we got to this level.”


Best Single Malt – Kavalan Whisky (Taiwan) Solist Vinho Barrique

Best Flavoured Whisky – Master of Malt 40yo Speyside Whisky Liqueur

Best Grain Whisky – Darkness North British 18yo Oloroso Cask Finish

Best Pot Still Whisky – Redbreast Pot Still 15yo

Best American Whisky – Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whisky

Best Scotch Blended Malt – Wemyss Malts’ Velvet Fig

Best Blended Malt – Nika Whisky Taketsuru Pure Malt 17yo

Best African Blended – Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish

Best European Blended – Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM no1

Best Irish Blend – Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix

Best Japanese Blend – Suntory Hibiki 12yo

Best Blend – That Boutiquey Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1 Batch 1

Best African Single Malt – Three Ships Single Malt 10yo

Best American Single Malt – Balcones Distilling Texas Single Malt

Best Irish Single Malt – Teeling Whisky Single Malt

Best Australian Single Malt – Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask Matured

Best European Single Malt – Mackmyra Whisky Iskristall

Best Japanese Single Malt – Suntory Yamazaki 18yo

Best Lowland Single Malt – Highland Harvest Single Malt Sauternes Wood

Best Highland Single Malt – The Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18yo

Best Campbelltown Single Malt – Longrow 11yo

Best Spreyside Single Malt – BenRiach 16yo

Best Islands Single Malt – Ledaig 10yo

Best Islay Single Malt – Ardbeg Kildalton

Sullivans Cove American Oak named Liquid Gold

American OakSullivans Cove, Tasmania’s world leading luxury single malt whisky, has been awarded a coveted Liquid Gold award in Jim Murray’s 2015 Whisky Bible.

Sullivans Cove American Oak Cask HH0047 scored 95.5/100, the highest score ever achieved by an Australian whisky in this year’s bible. This is an exceptional achievement for the distillery’s American Oak variety after the French Oak was named the world’s best single malt in the 2014 World Whisky Awards in London and further cements Sullivans Cove place as one of the world’s leading distilleries.

Now in its 12th year, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible aims to annually score every whisky available on the market. The book currently list 4,700 whiskies, each individually tasted, evaluated and rated by Murray, with the 2015 edition adding over 1,000 new whiskies to the list.

Chief distiller Patrick Maguire was delighted with the results: “This award is a fantastic recognition of the superior quality of our range and it is great to have the American Oak in the limelight after all the attention that the French Oak has been getting of late. This award is made so much more special by the fact that barrel HH0047 was the 47th cask that we ever made and it’s great to know that we got it right so early.”

Speaking on Sullivans Cove American Oak Cask HH0047, Murray noted: “…hard to imagine a malt whisky being more malt whiskier…few distilleries do weight on delivery better than this one…exemplary malt whisky: absolutely beautiful.

This adds to Tasmanian whisky’s growing reputation for excellent whisky. In addition to Sullivans Cove, which was named the world’s best single malt whisky and has now won its fourth “Liquid Gold” award, Lark Distillery, Heartwood Distillers, Old Hobart Distillery and Nant Distillery have all achieve “Liquid Gold” status and  Jim Murray awards Liquid Gold status to whiskies that score 94/100 or higher in his Whisky Bible and these whiskies are considered to be the very finest currently available in the world.

Tassie whisky named world’s best single malt

Sullivans-Cove-FO-bottle 353-300x0Tasmanian distillery Sullivan’s Cove has been named the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Award held on Thursday night in London.

Sullivan’s Cove’s French Oak Cask variety was judged the global winner, as well as Australia’s best, from a high-quality pool of single malt entries. They included Scotland’s Bunnahabain, Aberfeldy, Glenkinchie and Glenlivet distilleries, as well as Japanese powerhouse Yamazaki.

The World Whiskies Award is considered the most prestigious in the world for whisky producers and the manager and part-owner of Sullivan’s Cove, Patrick Maguire, said it would put Australia and Tasmania firmly on the world whisky map.

“It’s the big one, there are a few big ones in the world such as the Jim Murray Whisky Bible and Liquid Gold awards, but the World Whiskies Award is it, that’s the one everybody wants,” Maguire said.

“We’ve won Australia’s best, Australasia’s best and southern hemisphere’s best in the past but to win the overall best whisky globally is incredible stuff.

“It’ll really put Sullivan’s Cove and Australian whisky on the world map, there’ll be a lot of promotion of this in places like Britain and France, so it will really put us on top of the whisky tree.”

Judges described the French Oak Cask entry as “light, peppery and intriguing”, “a match made in heaven with a smooth buttery feel” and “keeping it simple in a very good way”.
Maguire said tasting the Sullivan’s Cove entry would have been something different for the judges. “I think what the judges are enjoying with us is that we don’t over-process our whiskies and this is something that the bigger distilleries have to do,” he said.

“The process of getting it into the bottle is something we do in a slow, old-fashioned way that retains all the natural flavours, colours and the viscosity of the whisky, and that’s something the judges don’t get the chance to taste all the time.

“With our whiskies, they are that old-fashioned style so that when the judges taste them they do tend to stand out, and that’s why we’ve been consistently winning these awards.

“We’re going to stick to our guns and continue on with the old-fashioned hand-bottling way that we do.”
Tasmania has a cluster of highly-regarded whisky distilleries which, surprisingly, are better known in other parts of the world than in Australia.

“It’s taken Australia a little bit longer to latch onto what we’re doing here with Tasmanian whiskies, not just for Sullivan’s Cove,” Maguire said.

“We’ve been selling into Europe and Canada for the last six or seven years, and Australia’s really only kicked in in the last two years.”

Local appreciation is rapidly catching up. however. “Years ago it was seen as an old man’s drink but our demograpic is changing rapidly, it’s now the 25- to 45-year-old age group and a lot of those are women, as well.”

For whisky aficionados plotting to obtain a bottle of the winning whisky, there is bad news.

The winning whisky was drawn from barrel number 525, and only 516 bottles were created and sent some time ago to retailers, making any examples still on shelves or in personal liquor cupboards rare and valuable.

Sullivan’s Cove itself has only three bottles from batch 525 left, and will be holding onto them until it figures out what to do with them, Maguire said.

“If there’s anybody out there able to run down to the bottle shop and find (Sullivan’s Cove) French Oak Cask from barrel 525, get it – quickly,” he advised.

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US beverage testers give Gold Medal to top selling Tasmanian whisky

Patrick collecting spiritSullivans Cove, Tasmania’s super-premium single malt, was recently awarded a gold medal by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago.

This award, from one of the world’s leading independent beverage reviewers, was given to the distillery’s Double Cask expression. It adds to Sullivans Cove’s list of prestigious international awards, which includes three Liquid Gold Awards from Jim Murray, and “Best Australian Single Malt” from the World Whisky Awards in London.

Chief distiller Patrick Maguire is of the opinion that a large part of Sullivans Cove’s huge domestic and international success is down to recognition from organizations such as the Beverage Testing Institute. He went on to say; “Things are going well, we are up 50% on last year and Sullivans Cove is now the biggest selling Tasmanian whisky. Exports are booming with North America making up 80% of our overseas sales, and we have sent our first shipments to Hong Kong and Japan this past week. It is great to be involved in such an exciting industry during otherwise difficult economic times.”

The sharp rise in demand has meant that the distillery is now working flat out to produce enough spirit.

The Tasmanian whisky industry has seen very strong growth over the past two years and there are now eight functioning distilleries on the island with 2 more in the pipeline.

Sullivans Cove voted “Best Australian Single Malt” at the World Whiskies Awards

SCFOTasmanian whisky brand Sullivans Cove has been named “Best Australian Single Malt” at the World Whiskies Awards in London last week. This prestigious award comes on the back of scoring 90 points out of 100 at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge held in March in the USA.

Sullivans Cove is Tasmania’s top selling and most decorated single malt. Last year Sullivans Cove was named World Whisky Grand Master at the annual Spirits Masters in London, whisky guru Jim Murray named it his Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year in the 2013 Whisky Bible and Dominic Roscrow named it Australasian Distiller of the Year.

Speaking from the distillery in Cambridge, Sullivans Cove distiller Patrick Maguire said: “Once again we have had a fantastic result. It is still quite unbelievable that we keep winning these incredible international awards and it just goes to show the quality of Sullivans Cove as a truly world class single malt whisky, a fact that is borne out by some fantastic export sales over the past year”.

Speaking about the awards, Whisky Magazine editor and World Whiskies Awards chairman Rob Allanson said: “This is one of the hardest whisky competitions in which to win a medal. This is mainly down to the rounds that the whiskies have to go through to qualify…there cannot be enough praise heaped upon those whiskies that win a sub category, you have to be an outstanding drop, showing great balance and character.”

A limited amount of the winning whisky (French Oak cask HH434), described by World Whiskies Awards judge Jim Anderson as “Graceful and balanced” is available from the distillery. Please enquire online at