WORDS KEN GARGETT
If you have ever wondered where the name came from, ‘Sullivans Cove’ was the original moniker for Hobart. First established in 1804, no surprise that this far distant residence for some of our worst convicts was home to a number of alcohol stills, some legal, some not.
This all came to a grinding halt in the late 1830s, when Sir John Franklin took over as Governor of the Colony. A nephew of Matthew Flinders and a midshipman under him during his voyages of exploration, a Rear Admiral and an Artic explorer (though perhaps not the finest as he eventually died on an expedition), he banned distillation, a ban which remained in place until the efforts of people like Bill Lark, a pioneer in the new Tasmanian whisky industry, had it lifted in 1990.
After a slightly shaky start, Sullivans Cove has become an international sensation with awards and trophies thrown at them like confetti. They make brilliant whiskies and some very special brandies as well.
Our Spirit of the Week is this recent release, the Sullivans Cove Double Cask Single Malt Whisky ($220), winner of the Best Australian Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards in 2018 and gold at the World Whisky Awards. It is wonderfully complex with great length, offering some sweet stonefruit and malted notes, honeycomb, caramel, toffee, and lemon butter on toast.
If you have any doubts as to the glorious spirits Tasmania is now offering, don’t miss this.