Whiskey Review: Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask

Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask is easily one of the best whiskies I have ever tasted. Winner of the World Whiskies Awards best single malt in 2014, this whiskey delivers simple yet bold and balanced flavors. It is easy to tell why this whiskey is constantly at the top of the short list of best whiskies in the world.


The River of Derwent in Tasmania, Australia is the birthplace of Tasmanian Whisky as we know it today. The port city of Hobart was established by the british in 1804 and quickly became a hotspot for distilleries. By 1824 there were already 16 legal distilleries in operation in Hobart, and there were more illegal distilleries than anyone could count or keep track of. Just 14 years later the governor implemented a prohibition on distilling that lasted until the 1990s.

Sullivans Cove was established in 1994 and began legally distilling whiskies in the heart of Tasmanian whiskey country. It did not take long for Sullivans Cove to establish itself as one of the premier whiskey makers in the world by using natural ingredients and sticking true to Tasmanian heritage.

On the Nose

The strong scent of maple syrup will be the first thing you notice from the French Oak. Less intense notes of pine, ginger, and cinnamon complement the sweet tones of maple beautifully. Hints of pineapple and a distinct scent of grapefruit can be picked up as well.

In the Mouth

The palate is spicy towards the front and gradually moves to a sweeter aftertaste. The tastes of ginger and white pepper are abundant and pack a punch. More sweet flavors move on as it moves back on the tongue with bold flavors of honey and apple taking over.


This whiskey finishes with a beautiful mixture of orange rind and caramel that keeps bringing you back for more. It is the perfect ending to a wonderfully crafted whiskey.

The Sullivan Cove French Oak is a masterfully balanced whiskey that is a joy to drink. Each flavor comes through at the right time to compliment the flavor before it and set you up for what comes next. The sweet notes of maple, honey, and apple combined with the subtle tones of cinnamon, pepper, and ginger create an autumn scene. This whiskey would be enjoyable anywhere and at any time, but I would most like to have it sitting by a campfire in the middle of the autumn months while the sun is setting.

Raffi Khorchidian is a whiskey connoisseur who has tried whiskeys from all over the world. Read more about whiskey, wine, and fine dining at Raffi’s website.