Sullivans Cove named World’s Best Single Malt

April 1, 2019
By Alana House

Sullivans Cove Distillery has won “World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt” for the second year running at the World Whiskies Awards.

This year, a 10-year-old cask of their French Oak expression, TD0217, has claimed the prestigious award, announced at the World Whiskies Awards 2019 dinner in London.

This accolade follows Sullivans Cove’s win for the same award last year for a 16-year-old cask of their American Oak expression, and their award for World’s Best Single Malt in 2014, making Sullivans Cove the only distillery in the world to ever win World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt twice, and bringing their total of World’s Best awards to three overall.

Hosted by Whisky Magazine, the World Whiskies Awards are an annual competition that sees thousands of entries from around the world judged blind by a large panel of journalists, distillers and other experts from the whisky industry, and have become the most prestigious and well-respected whisky awards in the world. 

Teeling 24-Year-Old Vintage Reserve

For the first time in the history of the World Whiskies Awards, the World’s Best Single Malt Award was given to a whiskey made in Ireland: Teeling 24-Year-Old Vintage Reserve. The 24-Year-Old was distilled in 1991 and matured for 21 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then for three more years in ex-sauternes wine barrels. with only 5000 bottles ever released, hand-bottled in beautiful decanters.

To gain the top spot in the Single Cask Single Malt category, Sullivans Cove had to beat out contenders from around the globe including Scotland, Japan, USA, Taiwan and other Australian distilleries.

“This is one of the younger whiskies that we’ve bottled at ten years old, and it just goes to show that the whiskies we’re bottling now are as good as anything we’ve ever released,” said Managing Director, Adam Sable.

About half of the winning cask was packaged in 200ml miniature bottles and sold as part of a gift pack released to Sullivans Cove’s mailing list members last year, with only 147 full-sized bottles made available from the distillery’s cellar door.

“There’ll be some pretty happy people out there. I love the idea that it went into the gift pack in the 200ml bottles, because it gives more people a chance to taste it,” he said. “Huge congratulations have to go to our whole team, including our tasting panel, who check every cask at regular intervals to determine when and if they’re worthy of a Sullivans Cove label, and the optimal time for bottling,” said Sable.

Production Manager Heather Tillott added: “We identified this cask as a really special one as soon as we tasted it. We knew it was worth entering in competitions as a really beautiful example of a younger Sullivans Cove French Oak style with all the dark maple syrup and treacle character we look for, combined with lots of prunes and plums and a lovely weight to is 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.”

The mood at the distillery was at an all-time high following the win.

“We can’t get the smiles off our faces,” said Tillott. “Especially because this is number three for us, it’s really solid proof that these wins are no fluke. We’re here to stay.”

Sullivans Cove joined two other Australian whisky industry champions at the World Whiskies Awards this year, with Dan Murphy’s picking up the award for World’s Best Supermarket and John Rochford of McLaren Vale Distillery winning World’s Best Distillery Manager.

Click here to see all the winners.

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