The team at Willie Smiths have joined forces again with the crowd over at Sullivan Cove Whisky Distillery to create a Whisky Barrel Aged Cider. This is the second time they have done this although it’s the first time when they have made it with cider apples

This time around Willie Smith’s have taken the 2019 Vintage of the Yarlington Mill and aged it for 6 months in the American oak barrels. Only 6 casks worth of this cider exist (minus the bottle I just drunk) 4 of these had a previous life ageing a single batch bourbon. The next 2 lived out a long life ageing Australian Tawny port. Then all 6 of the barrels had a batch of Sulivan Cove Whisky relaxing in them for 11 to 12 years.

Thomas New said “this cider is like an apple pie for grownups, with heritage cider apple complexity and distinctive whisky notes”

Heather Tillott, Head distiller at Sullivan Cove said that the Bourbon cases provide a vanilla sweetness and a bit of a summery fruit vibe. The Tawny port on the other provides big hits of raisin and dark syrups.

Willie Smiths Whisky Barrel Aged Cider bottle

The Nose

Dark Raisins and sweet port dance above the charred innards of an American oak barrel. There are airs of smokiness and subtle hints of dry funky ciders. Nurse it for a moment or two and it transforms into an appley sticky date pudding

The Taste

The Yarlington Mill is offering up all sort of caramelly goodness. The spikey bottle conditioned bubbles lead into those harder smokey whisky and oak vanilla tendencies. The after-dinner mood is strong, I’m not sure if it’s apple pie or something more like a sticky date pudding with butterscotch, maybe its greedy and asked for a scoop of both.

It finishes with a blend of peatiness with the Yarlingtons mill’s chalky tannins to give you that pastry feeling which fades to a finish of earthy and dark chocolate.

Final Thoughts on the Willie Smith Sullivan Cove Whisky Barrel Aged Cider 2019

I came into this review thinking it was going to be quite the downer of a cider the type of thing struggling playwrights of old would be sipping in a smoke-filled dive bar. I thought it was going to smokey and heavy and full of mournful solitude. The reality is this is quite uplifting.

It’s pudding in a pint. (Please don’t serve this in a pint)

Product Willie Smiths Limited Release Whisky Aged Sullivans Cove Barrel Aged Cider
Company Willie Smith’s
Sweetness Medium Dry
ALC/VOL 9.8%
Website williesmiths.com.au
Country of Origin Australia
Region Huon Valley, Tasmania