In 2019, Sullivans Cove is moving away from flocking or filtration of any kind for our single cask whiskies, meaning you can now enjoy Sullivans Cove in its 100% natural state. Watch the video below, and keep reading for a full explanation of flocking and filtration and what this change means for our whiskies.
All whiskies have naturally occurring oils and fats. These provide a lot of the texture, palate weight and finish of good whisky, also helping to enhance the flavour like the olive oil on your salad, or the butter on your bread.
At cask strength, these compounds are held in solution by the alcohol, but when whiskies are diluted for bottling, these compounds can fall out of solution and cause the whisky to appear cloudy, or form a sediment at the bottom on the bottle.
Large commercial distilleries will often employ a process called chill-filtration to remove these compounds and make sure the whisky will always stay clear. This process involves cooling the whisky down to force the oils and fats out of solution, then passing the whisky through a very fine filter.
Most small craft distilleries avoid this process to preserve the natural texture and flavour of their whiskies, and Sullivans Cove is no exception. We have never used chill filtration on our single malt whiskies.
Up until recently, we instead employed a process called “flocking”. In this process, the diluted whisky is allowed to settle in tanks for a number of weeks or months. This allows the largest and heaviest particles to fall to the bottom of the tank where they can be removed with a simple paper filter before bottling. With this method, we preserved the natural texture of our whisky while still making sure your bottle doesn’t go too cloudy.
But in 2019, we’re moving away from flocking entirely for our single cask whiskies.
This means that from now on, all of our single cask whiskies will be bottled completely unflocked and unfiltered, so 100% of the naturally occurring oils and fats will remain in the bottle.
We’ve made this change because we think it makes the whisky better – more flavour, more creamy texture, and more length – all things we love about Sullivans Cove and that our fans love, too.
So now you can enjoy Sullivans Cove in its 100% natural state.
This also means that you may see sediment forming in the bottom of your bottle, especially if it’s been on the shelf for a while, and it will almost certainly go cloudy if you add water or ice to your glass. But don’t worry, it’s all perfectly natural.
If you have any more questions about flocking and filtration, please don’t hesitate to reach out on [email protected]