Tasmania’s Sullivans Cove distillery have announced a 21-year-old single malt to mark their 25th anniversary, which is believed to be the oldest single malt bottled in modern Australian whisky history.
The whisky in these $1,800 bottles dates from the early period of the distillery’s operation, from 1994-to-1999. During that period the founders produced a total of 162 casks, believed to have all been bottled or sold on. A discovery last year of four casks still remaining in a private Hobart warehouse saw the distillery acquire those casks and vat the remaining whisky into this release. They were 200 litre American oak ex-bourbon casks, filled in 1997. At 49.6% the barrels yielded a total of 502 bottles.
Limited to one-per-customer, the whisky is available through the distillery directly. The bottle is its own crystal decanter and each release comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Official tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet vanilla musk fills the nose and draws you in. Maltesers, cinnamon, anise, dried apple, roasting pineapple, musk and a strong mixed berry jam note with a balancing whiff of ethereal perfume.
Palate: Intensely creamy and incredibly textural. Aloha! shouts the tropical fruit salad of pineapple, passionfruit and honeydew melon, served up with Chantilly cream, mixed berry jam, sweet pastry, vanilla custard, toffee and caramel fudge, all backed up by a deliciously warm barley grain note.
Finish: "Long" doesn't seem to do this justice. It’s fair to say epic. The warm grains are followed by all the sweet sugary things. Caramel, chocolate brownie, malt extract, custard, and raspberry jam. And low and behold, in even these oldest of Sullivans' whiskies, there is that quintessential coconut oil and fresh orange note, and it's everywhere at the never-ending story of this whisky’s finish.