In 1804, a group of military, settlers and convicts lead by Captain David Collins settled at Sullivans Cove on the west bank of the Derwent river. The settlement would eventally grow into the vibrant and beautiful port city of Hobart.
Sullivans Cove Distillery pays respect to the Muwinina people, traditional owners of Hobart, whose ancestors walked this land long before anyone thought to make whisky here.
In the harsh early days of the colony, convicts, soldiers and free settlers all favoured a drink or two. Presented with an abundance of pristine mountain water and land perfect for growing barley, the colonists were soon producing their own spirits, with sixteen legal distilleries and countless small-scale farmhouse operations by 1824.
In 1838 a new governor by the name of John Franklin decided that spirits were a bad influence on the colony, and banned distillation outright. This prohibition would last for over 150 years.
But in 1990, Bill Lark managed to get the law overturned and established Lark distillery in 1992, launching the modern Tasmanian whisky industry.
Sullivans Cove Distillery was established in 1994 at its original location at the old brickworks at Sullivans Cove, making it the second oldest whisky distillery in Tasmania. In the early days, the reputation of Sullivans Cove was poor to say the least, but in 1999 new ownership vastly improved the quality of the whisky being produced.
In 2004, the distillery moved to its current location in Cambridge and our current head distiller Patrick Maguire took over distillation and cask selection. By 2007, Sullivans Cove started to gain international recognition with our American Oak winning Best Other Malt (whiskies outside of Scotland) at the World Whiskies Awards and Liquid Gold (95/100) in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible.
In 2014 when our French Oak cask HH0525 was named Best Single Malt Whisky in the World by the World Whiskies Awards, both our little distillery, and the Tasmanian whisky industry as a whole, shot to international acclaim. We’ve been trying to keep up ever since. With a new generation of keen young distillers now bringing their passion for Tassie whisky to the table, Sullivans Cove continues as Australia's premier single malt whisky distillery.