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There was an upset at the recent World Whiskey Awards: The prize for the best single malt, which is the only one that really matters, did not go to a producer from Scotland or Japan (winners the last 7 years), but to Sullivan’s Cove, a small producer in Hobart, the capital of the island of Tasmania. The Tasmanians have been producing quality whiskey for quite a while—at least since the ban on distilling alcohol was lifted in 1992. But the folks from down under have flown under the radar until recently, overshadowed by their more famous northern neighbors. Now this win by Sullivan’s Cove could put Tasmania into any serious conversation about whiskey (at least among whiskey nerds). Here's the bad news: You're not going to find a bottle of Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask, at least not any time soon. According to an interview with co-owner Patrick Maguire, as of last week there were just three bottles remaining down in Hobart. Not that they made very much to begin with. The entire distillery puts out 20,000 liters a year. For comparison, Scotland's Macallan releases more than 200 times that amount. Even Pappy Van Winkle, the ultra-rare bourbon that can fetch more than $3,000 a bottle on the aftermarket, is available in greater quantities than Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask. Fortunately, it’s not the only game in Tasmania. If you’re a dedicated whiskey hunter, you may be able to track down bottlings from these producers.
The very first licensed distillery in Tasmania. If it weren’t for that pesky ban, these guys would have been around for over 170 years. They make only single cask. It’s the most readily available through several distributors stateside.
This is the very first biodiesel-powered distillery. They also offer some excellent rye whiskey made from grains grown on their own farm.
The largest distiller of single malt Australian whiskey. Last year, Australians chose the Single Malt Peated as the best whiskey made within their borders.