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Proust Whisky Questionnaire: Fred Siggins

Fred Siggins is the Strategy Manager at Australia’s most internationally recognisable distilleries, Tasmania’s Sullivans Cove. A driving force of the team shaping the future of this iconic distillery, he’s also helped shape expressions that have won them accolades.

Describe your job in five words

Navigating Officer on the good ship Sullivans.

What do you appreciate most in a whisky?

Texture, complexity and deliciousness.

What do you appreciate least in a whisky?

Thoughtlessness.

What is your most treasured whisky?

My bottle of Sullivans Cove American Oak Single Cask HH0351, which won Best Single Cask Single Malt in the World at the World Whiskies Awards in 2018. It was our first major award during my time at Sullivans and I helped select the cask and enter the competition, so I'm particularly proud of that bottle.

What is your favourite virtue in a whisky bar?

Friendly, knowledgeable and unpretentious service.

What do you most dislike in a whisky bar?

Staff who try to make you drink something you won't like just because they do.

If you could have any job in whisky, what would it be?

An author/journalist, travelling, tasting, writing and telling the story of whiskies from all over the world.

What is your favourite distillery name?

I like Rosebank and Starward because they're catchy and evocative, and Bruichladdich because it's fun to say.

Who is your hero in whisky?

Patrick Maguire [from Sullivans Cove]. His perseverance and intuition are incredibly impressive. He's created one of the world's great single malt whiskies and helped build a thriving industry from nothing.

What is your idea of whisky happiness?

A full bottle and a good conversation with someone I love and respect.

What phrase do you most overuse when talking about whisky?

"Just drink it how you like it."

When do you lie about whisky?

When I want to be polite, but I'm not actually enjoying it.

Who or what is the love of your whisky life?

Tasmania. It's so beautiful, and the people are incredible, and the whisky is so good, but we're also still just starting out, so there's so much to learn and explore.

What is your happiest whisky memory?

There are many, but probably the first time I won a trip to New Orleans because we sold so much Buffalo Trace at The Kodiak Club when I was manager there. I was there with my sister, and my girlfriend at the time, and one of my best friends and it was an incredible week of whisky-fuelled fun.

What is your saddest whisky memory?

Pouring out the last of a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel in memory of a friend and great whisky lover who died way too young.

Who do you most admire?

Dave Broome for his unpretentious and entertaining writing.

Sherry cask or bourbon cask?

Bourbon.

If you could work at one distillery, which one would it be?

Chichibu.

What is your greatest achievement?

Designing and launching Sullivans Cove XO Brandies, as well as doing all the cask selection and helping with the blending. It's a gorgeous product and I'm really proud I got to make it happen.

Proust Questionnaire
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