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The Exile 15 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Australian Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 62%
Another week, another amazing opportunity to expand your collection. This time from no less than the winner of ‘world’s best single malt of 2014’. Filled in 2000 by Sullivan's Cove followed by ageing in a 300L x-port French Oak cask for 15 years (HH0556), "The Exile" is sure to have more than a passing resemblance to the now mythical batch HH525. Reportedly acquired from a private collection, this stems from Sullivan's Cove's "middle period" (the first distillations began in 1995, then in 1999 the distillery changed ownership). Heralding from a time when Bill Lark must have had significant input (he was the distillery manager) it offers a compelling combination of fruit pudding and sweet spice laced with 'bush' freshness that finds sensory equivalents in native flora. The latter suggests the use of Tassie peat - in short this could easily be mistaken for an early Larks bottling of the highest order. Sullivan's Cove changed hands again in November 2003, after a two year halt in production, the barrelled whisky, still and equipment was bought by a third group and moved to Cambridge, on the outskirts of Hobart. The rest is history. Bottled at cask strength with an outturn of just 344 bottles, the Exile is a must-have for any serious whisky bar, collector or connoisseur.Tasting note: [from a 20ml sample] Brassy gold with pale edges and considerable legs. Almost floral softness yet so densely packed this will take more than a few sniffs to get your head around. Initial nosing detects moist fruit cake, raisins, brandy cream sauce and cinnamon underscored by choc-peppermint freshness. Five minutes aeration drops the intensity adding suggestions of dates, old leather and spicy / woody notes. Creamy at first, then comes the intense burst of sugars - an alluring combination of rich fruit mince pie and fruit'n'nut dark chocolate checked by fresher notes reminiscent of Australian natives - Anise myrtle? Tea tree? Beautifully poised at 62% ABV before bittersweet oak closes in with a spirity, peppery kick; the aftertaste fades then rebounds with tremendous persistence. You can be sure no computers were involved in the creation of this gem - just artisanal skill. A glorious testament to the talent and passion of Tasmania's early distillers. Other reviews... Sherry and boiled sweets with hints of fruit, caramel, vanilla and liquorice – a huge nose with strong aromas. The palate is very warming and very alcoholic with sweet caramel flavours and a mouth-coating texture. Water makes it very easy to drink. The long finish hangs around the front of the mouth. Beautiful aromas and flavours with lots of alcoholic warmth.
- World Whisky Awards 2016 Winner Best Australian Single Cask Single Malt in the 13-20 year category.