Sullivans Cove French Oak

Sullivans Cove French Oak
Distillery/Brand: Sullivans Cove | Region: Australia | ABV: 47.5% | Color: Young Sauternes
Nose: 24 | Taste: 25 | Finish: 24 | Balance: 24 | Rating: 97

Review
Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on in Tasmania?

I can swear the whisky distillers Down Under have made a pact with the Devil. In exchange for their souls, and the souls of their loved ones, they are being given magical powers to create the most delicious whisky ever made.

I thought after tasting the Overeem Port Matured Cask Strength, another Australian Devil spawn, I would not taste a better whisky this year.

I am so elated to be wrong.

Winner of the World Whisky Awards 2014 this spirit is any where between 11 to 13 years old. Matured in French Oak Port casks my particular sample is one of 516 bottles to emerge from winning cask No. 525.

Founded in 1995 in, you guessed it, Sullivans Cove this distillery is now home to one of my favorite whiskies.

Nose: Dark chocolate. Black peppers with a touch of cinnamon. Scented tobacco. Warm hazelnut toffee covered in praline sauce. Dark fig jam and natural caramel. Very high quality leather. This is such a beautifully intense nose. It’s like nosing a 60% whisky only to realize it’s not even 48%.

Palate: Crisp maple syrup. Black pepper. Dark jam. Mild tobacco leaf. Roasted nuts and dry figs. Dark raisins covered in chocolate. The creamy, perfectly balanced delivery will make you salivate. While the whisky’s in your mouth.

Finish: Gloriously long with a mocha caramel swirl.

Truly one of the great whiskies of the year and, for once, I whole heartedly agree with the truckload of accolades this wee dram has won.

I am so moving to Tasmania….

Rating: 97

Glenlivet 15 Years French Oak Reserve

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Distillery/Brand: Glenlivet
Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%
Colour: Sunlight

Nose: 22
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
This has been one of my favorite malts for a long time. Not because it’s the best malt out there but because it was one of the first I tried early on in my career as a malt enthusiast. And I’m glad it was this one for who knows what would have become of me had I tried something vile.

The uncomplicated Speyside nose is bursting at the seams with an orangey citrus burst on a bed of smooth melon rind. The honey and delicate flowers accompany this fruitiness and make for quite a nice bouquet of aromas.

The beautifully textured spirit is a touch spicy but that quickly gives way to a lovely warm fruit basket mixed with marshmallows. Something oddly comforting about this delivery.

The long and oily finish with a touch of oak keeps taking me back to why I began this glorious journey in the first place.

Rating: 91