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Sullivans Cove Release First Unflocked Whisky

Pic by Natalie Mendham

Tasmania’s Sullivans Cove today released their first of their new unflocked and unfiltered whiskies, a French oak tawny ten-year-old which sold out in hours.

Announced to mailing list members at midday, single cask TD0288 was priced at $550. The cask was filled 1 June 2007 and decanted 13 May 2019 yielding 578 bottles at 47.6%. The distillery, arguably the most famous name in Australian whisky, recently announced that all their upcoming single cask releases will be unfiltered and unflocked and this release was the first under that policy.

Production Manager Heather Tillott said of the expression, “In the latter half of a Hobart winter, this whisky is just what the doctor ordered; a reminder of all the beautiful things about the cold nights like warm spices and preserved orchard fruits, but looking toward the spring to come with the fresh blossoms of next summer’s citrus.”

Chill filtration is the process of chilling a whisky down to near zero degrees Celsius and then fine filtering to remove compounds that may make the whisky appear cloudy when watered down. Often employed by larger distilleries and for whiskies bottled below 43%, smaller or ‘craft’ distilleries are known to wear ‘un-chill filtered’ as a badge of honour.

Sullivans Cove have never chill filtered their single malts, bit they have notably also decided to move away from flocking.

The process is used widely by both large and small and sees decanted whisky settle in tank for weeks or months to allow heavier particles to settle at the bottom of the vessel, where they can be easily removed. By opting against flocking Sullivans will be trading visual clarity for texture and flavour. Their single cask releases, which include the French and American oak expressions plus the green label Special Cask series, may now show sediment and will likely go cloudy if mixed with water or ice.

Today’s release, which also saw the debut of a new presentation box, was the latest in a string of releases from the distillery which have sold out within hours. With a huge global demand for the brand and aged stock well away from meeting that demand, the large majority of releases in the past 24 months have been offered directly through the distillery.

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