Skip to main content

This is how you can get your hands on Australia’s oldest whisky

This whisky was distilled in the 90s.

Sullivans Cove
Sullivans Cove

If you don’t imagine whisky when you think about Australia, you haven’t been paying much attention to the Southern Hemisphere country in the last few decades. Brands like Lark, Archie Rose, Starward, and Sullivans Cove (among countless more) are doing big things in the whisky world. While we could spend a whole article writing about Australian whisky, today we’re most concerned with the latter.

And while we love everything this Tasmania-based, award-winning distillery puts out from its American Oak, French Oak, and Double Cask to its limited-edition releases, today we’re interested in something a little older. That’s because recently the iconic brand released Australia’s oldest whisky.

Australia’s oldest whisky

Sullivans Cove
Sullivans Cove

The Sullivans Cove 24-year-old American Oak Second-Fill barrel is the oldest Australian whisky to date. One of the distillery’s “Old & Rare” releases, this second-fill barrel was filled with single malt whisky back on October 5th, 1999. It was aged for a full twenty-four years until it was finally bottled on January 5th, 2024. While Sullivans Cove is a brand that seems like it’s been around for decades, when this whisky began aging, the distillery was only five years old.

An exceptional release

Whiskey glass
Thomas Park/Unsplash

They’re only releasing 335 bottles of this very rare and memorable whisky. Clocking in at a potent 104-proof, this is the kind of whisky that collectors and fans of rare, complex, sippable whiskies drool over. Not only is this a special whisky itself, but it comes in a hand-crafted solid oak box and even comes with a letter of authenticity signed by Heather Tillott, the Sullivans Cover Distillery Manager.

“Deeply inviting. The epitome of well-aged Sullivans Cove spirit at its full potential. With the transformation this cask has undertaken over 24 years, and this whisky reflects a careful and patient approach, illustrating the significance of nurturing the spirit throughout its maturation journey,” Tillott is quoted on the distillery’s site. “The result is nothing less than astounding, HH0004 exudes depth and complexity from the moment it’s nosed, with a rich interplay of floral, sweet, and savory elements.”

What does it taste like?

Whiskey bottles
Adam Wilson/Unsplash

According to Sullivans Cove, this very rare single malt whisky begins with a nose of sweet treacle, anise, maple candy, buttered popcorn, dried cherries and other fruits, cinnamon, oak, chocolate, and gentle spices. The palate is a mix of candied nuts, maple candy, honey, peppercorns, cinnamon, aloe vera, caramel, toasted marshmallows, caramelized sugar, and oaky.

The finish is warming and lingering and ends with a final flourish of fresh leather, vanilla beans, dried tropical fruits, floral notes, caramel candy, lemon, and oak. It’s the kind of whisky that deserves to be enjoyed neat on a cool evening by a roaring campfire.

How to get a bottle

Whiskey in front of a window
S. Tsuchiya / Unsplash

Now we’re on to the tricky part. Since this whisky is so rare, you can’t just go into your neighborhood liquor store and grab a bottle. If you want one of these bottles, not only will you have to pay the suggested retail price of $2,500 (Australian), but you’ll also have to join an online ballot in hopes of being selected to purchase one. The ballot opens on May 20th, and you can sign up here.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
Everyone loves a Manhattan — but you should try it with rum
Try a Manhattan with a twist

When it comes to classic cocktails, few are more iconic than the Manhattan. Popular since the 1800s, the combination of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters has been delighting whiskey enthusiasts for decades and has seen a real resurgence in recent years as whiskey mania has swept the cocktail scene.

But like all good cocktails, the Manhattan is open to variations -- from using different types of vermouth to adding a dash of absinthe, there are plenty of ways to change up this classic stirred drink. However, one option that might sound sacrilegious to some but is well worth a try is ditching the whiskey all together, and replacing it with rum instead.
How to make a Rum Manhattan
The rum Manhattan combines 2 ounces of dark rum with 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, which is stirred together over ice. You can add a dash of either Angostura or orange bitters as you prefer, and strain into a cocktail glass before garnishing with either an orange twist or the traditional cherry.

Read more
How to organize your pantry so it actually makes sense
These tips will save you time every time you open your food pantry
Pantry full of jarred food

Spring has sprung, and now summer is almost here. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the golf course is packed again. The arrival of this time of year ushers in the dreaded (but usually desperately needed) spring cleaning (which you can do in the summer, too). A great place to start your cleaning day is in one of the most used but often overlooked spaces in your home: the kitchen pantry. But how do you organize a pantry?

We spoke with Elisabeth Shake of Yourganized, a Chicago-based certified professional organizer and accredited staging professional, to get the best tips and tricks for organizing your pantry. Even if you don’t have a pantry and instead use cupboards, you will still benefit from this organizational guide, tips, and tricks.
What is a pantry?

Read more
Legendary distillery House of Suntory releases 4 new Japanese whiskies
Try one of House of Suntory's new Japanese whiskies
house of suntory 2024 series hos tsukuriwake  family

Japanese whisky is all the rage right now, and brands like the House of Suntory are bringing a taste of Japan's finest spirits to the world. The brand recently released a new 2024 Tsukuriwake series, offering four bottles that showcase the variety of whiskies being made across Japan.

The range is overseen by Suntory's Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, making use of unusual ingredients and wood for a truly special whisky experience. “Tsukuriwake translates to ‘artisanship through a diversity of making,’ which is truly what the 2024 Series represents with each of the four liquids included,” said Fukuyo. “While past releases from the collection focused mainly on the details of the casks, the 2024 Tsukuriwake Series emphasizes the elements of whisky making, such as ingredient selection, peat, and cask. This series is the ultimate showcase of the incredible diversity of choices that goes into the making of Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies.”

Read more