Best whisky in the world 2014 revealed – and it’s not from Scotland

Most prestigious award in whisky-making, dominated in the past by Scotland and Japan, goes to boutique distillery on Australian island of Tasmania

A panel of experts have chosen the best single malt whisky in the world for 2014 – and it comes from a Tasmanian distillery.

Described by one judge as tasting like “honey, vanilla and haystacks”, the Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask becomes the first winner of the biggest award in whisky production to come from the Australian island.

Traditionally the prize has been dominated by distilleries in Scotland or Japan, with one of the two claiming victory every year since the first awards in 2007.

After competing against more than 300 other whiskies, Sullivans Cove director Patrick Maguire told ABC News: “It's probably the world's biggest award you can win for whiskies.

If you can win that, you've made it. There's no doubt about it.

Mr Maguire said the distillery has been winning both local and international awards for a number of years, but the grand prize was likely to put it on the map like never before.

According to the Sullivans Cove website, three bottles from the award-winning barrel (HH0525) are set to be sold at the distillery in Tasmania itself.

The winning bottle, aged from 11 to 12 years and described by Sullivans Cove as 'a big, fat, chewy whisky full of rich toffee and molasses notes' The winning bottle, aged from 11 to 12 years and described by Sullivans Cove as 'a big, fat, chewy whisky full of rich toffee and molasses notes' Only 516 bottles were ever made, but the distillery said a few “are still floating around Australia”.

Mr Maguire said: “We are all very small producers, we are boutique producers and we have the luxury of being able to tweak things personally.

“So when we are running the still, they are not automatic systems, we actually run it from the heart if you like.

“So we cut our runs, manage our runs on the way it smells, flows, tastes. There is science behind it but we are not running computers that turn things on and off.”

The World Whiskies Awards are run by Whisky Magazine, based in the UK, and include categories for blended and rye whiskies as well as bottle design.

Over the years the award for best single malt has been won twice by the Ardbeg distillery on the south coast of the isle of Islay, once by Talisker, once by Highland Park – all of Scotland. It has also been won twice by Yamazaki and once by Yoichi in Japan.

What the judges said about Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask

Ed Bates: “Tunnock’s Caramel wafers. With a touch of smoke. Excellent balance.”

Seáneen Sullivan: “Toasted almonds, grated nutmeg and some fruit toast on the nose. Burnt almonds, autumn fruits stewed with golden raisins. Light, peppery and intriguing.”

Jason Thomson: “Keeping it simple in a very good way. Honey, vanilla and haystacks. All combine with apples and caramel.”

Joseph Cassidy: “Campfire smoke that enriches the malt and wood. A match made in heaven with a smooth buttery feel.”

Jamie Milne: “Great balance, lovely spices come through with time.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum