Wickmans Fine Wine and Whisky Auctions for collectors of fine rare wine and whisky Skip Navigation LinksAuction Home » Wine Services » The Whisky Investor's Guide to Sullivans Cove

Buy and Sell Your Sullivans Cove Australian Whisky

The task of estimating the auction value for a bottle of Sullivans Cove whisky is not simple. It involves a thoughtful examination of various elements and broadly speaking, these considerations fall into three distinct categories. Each category paints a different picture of the whisky's worth, offering unique insights into its overall market value.

Echoes from the Past: Historical and Collectible Sullivans Cove Releases

This category includes the distillery's early releases and special editions. These bottles are typically sought after by whisky collectors and enthusiasts due to their rarity, age, or unique place in the brand's history. The value of such releases is not so much the quality of the whisky but is influenced by their scarcity and the unique narrative they represent within the evolution of Sullivans Cove.

The Sullivans cove website has a comprehensive list with photos of the past releases.

Sullivans Cove Pre-Release Bottlings

The most significant bottlings from this era are the Sullivans Cove Pre-Release Bottling, which were the ones targeted by the ACCC and, presumably, any inhouse stock would have been ordered destroyed making them extremely rare now.

Auction estimate: $A 2,000+

Historical First Release Sullivans Cove Australian Whisky

Sullivans Cove First Release Decanter

The other significant bottling from this period is the First Release Decanter, released in 1997. It was a Tasmanian single malt, distilled, aged, and bottled by Sullivans Cove and sold in a commemorative decanter with a timber presentation case.

Auction estimate: $A 2,700+

Sullivans Cove First-Generation Standard Release

Screwcap versions without the timber case (The first-generation standard release with a blue and gold label) were available until 1999, but by all accounts, were not sold in significant enough volumes to stem the tide of previous losses and the business was sold in 1999 to Highland Holdings.

Auction estimate: $A 1,000+

Sullivans Cove's Crown Jewels: The Award-Winning Selections

These are the most sought-after and highly contested bottles at auction. They not only hold significant importance in the distillery's timeline, but they are also coveted for the high quality they represent by whisky enthusiasts worldwide. These bottles have gained recognition in whisky competitions and have been praised by reputable critics.

Winner of the Worlds Best Single Malt Whisky in 2014

Sullivans Cove's French Oak Cask HH0525

The number one sought after bottle is the Sullivans Cove's French Oak cask HH0525, which took home the title of World's Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014, launching Sullivans Cove to cult whisky status.

Increasingly rare and sought after it is being traded at auction more than $A 9,000+

Sullivans Cove American Oak Cask HH0351

Winning TWO very prestigious awards at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards, HH0351 was awarded World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt and Best Australian Single Cask Single Malt. Originally retailing at $300 it made the news in 2018 when a bottle was sold at Christies in London for around $A 12,000 there has not been a bottle auctioned since, making it even rarer than the HH0525.

Sullivans Cove's French Oak Cask TD0217

In 2019 another Sullivans Cove French Oak took World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards, solidifying the brand into world whisky awareness. Note the TD prefix indicates it was distilled under 'Tasmania Distillery' management between 2004 and 2016.

Auction Estimate: $A 6,000+

Recognition in Waiting, The Unawarded Standard Releases

Still hard to come by the standard releases represent the core range of whiskies that Sullivans Cove regularly produces that have not won any honours. These include the American Oak, Double Cask, and French Oak expressions. While these releases might not carry the exclusivity of the Historical and Collectible category or the accolades of the Award Winners, they represent Sullivans Cove's consistent commitment to quality. The value of these bottles is typically influenced by factors such as age, batch variation, and ongoing market demand.

As a rule of thumb, a bottle that has won no awards and purchased under the ballot scheme now in existence at the distillery, can be sold on the auction market for an approximate 15 to 20% premium on the release price.


Overall, the auction value of a Sullivans Cove whisky bottle depends on its category and the specific factors associated with it. It's also worth noting that market trends, buyer preferences, and the overall economic climate can also significantly influence auction prices.

Navigating the Epochs of Sullivans Cove

A Journey through the Distillery's Timeline

To properly understand the value of Sullivans Cove whisky, and to comprehend why it garners exceptional premiums at auctions, it's necessary to first delve into its origins and the shifts in ownership that underpin significant transformations in distillation methods, branding overhauls, and continuous improvements in whisky craftsmanship.

Each transition in ownership heralded substantial changes, influencing not only the brand's identity but also the methodology of whisky production. Amidst challenges and financial crises, a gradual evolution took place, nurtured by accumulated knowledge and the inheritance of progressively superior stock. Now, the current custodians find themselves as guardians of a prestigious entity, a veritable crown jewel in the world of whisky.

The Dawn of Sullivans Cove: The Genesis of Evolution (1994 to 1999)

Established by Robert Hosken in 1994, Sullivans Cove Distillery was initially located in the waterfront dock area of Hobart. The whiskies produced during this period, however, did not gain notable recognition for their quality. Instead, this era is marked by controversy within Tasmania's whisky industry.

In 1999, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) instigated legal proceedings against Robert Hosken, issuing court orders that pertained to allegations of misrepresentation. The issue in question revolved around his 'Pre-Release Sullivans Cove Premium Whisky', with the ACCC asserting that the whisky was not of Tasmanian origin as claimed but was instead sourced from Scotland. This led to the Tasmania Distillery facing legal action for presenting misleading information about the whisky's origin and distillation process.

The whisky that was distilled during this period went on to be bottled in a number of unremarkable whiskies over the next era.

The Bill Lark Era: Laying the Foundation for Future Greatness (1999 to 2004)

In 1999, Sullivans Cove distillery was acquired by Highland Holdings. Recognizing the opportunity to enhance the whisky's quality, the company engaged the expertise of Bill Lark, a highly respected figure in the Australian whisky industry.

The casks filled during Lark's tenure were notably exceptional, with the standout being the French Oak cask HH0525 (distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2013) that won the Word Whisky Awards in 2014.

However, despite diligent efforts to establish Sullivans Cove as a premium single malt whisky, financial complications arose. By 2003, under Highland Holdings' management, Sullivans Cove found itself in a precarious financial situation, leading to the unfortunate liquidation of its assets due to unpaid debts.

The Patrick Maguire Era: Refining the Craft, Making Waves! (2004 – 2016)

During Bill Lark’s stint at Sullivans Cove, he introduced his friend Patrick Maguire to the team. In 2004, when Highland Holdings went bankrupt, Patrick Maguire, along with a consortium of investors, purchased the distillery. The distillery was relocated from the scenic Hobart waterfront to a more industrial setting in Cambridge, Tasmania.

'Tasmania Distillery' was the producer and the Sullivans Cove the brand (this was changed by later owners).

Under Maguire's leadership, the distillery underwent a series of transformative shifts, most notably a complete overhaul of Sullivans Cove's branding. The rebrand introduced more distinctive, shorter, squat-style bottles, departing from conventional designs. A new trio of core expressions was introduced, known now as the Fourth-Generation range, further distinguishing the brand. Each bottle now included a unique side tag, providing detailed cask and bottle information for each batch, signifying the origin of the barrels using a prefix. Whiskies released during Patrick Maguire’s 12-year tenure at the helm bore 'Produced by Tasmania Distillery' on the back of the bottle and box in contrast to the 'Produced by Sullivans Cove Distillery' that appears on today's labels.

One of the most significant moments of this period was when Sullivans Cove was catapulted to international fame following their win at the coveted World Whiskies Awards, securing The World’s Best Single Malt with the French Oak Barrel HH0525. This release was limited to only 516 bottles. Despite its size - producing only 20,000 litres of whisky a year - Tasmania Distillery under Maguire's leadership, made a mark on the global stage.

Current Stewards at the Helm: Merging Tradition and Innovation in the Whisky Industry (2016 to Present)

The 2016 acquisition of Sullivans Cove by Melbourne-based company Sullivans Cove Distillery Pty Ltd introduced a new chapter for the distillery. Leading the company was Adam Sable, whose previous role as general manager of Scottish distillery Bladnoch ensured a deep understanding of the whisky industry.

Under this new ownership, a distinct shift was observed in the management ethos, focusing more on teamwork rather than individual contribution. With this approach, the distillery pursued its quest for whisky perfection, introducing an array of new selections. Notable additions included the Old & Rare range with age statements, a host of limited releases, Special Casks, and a 21-year-old Anniversary expression.

Observing the outcomes of the new stewardship and the emergence of whiskies bearing the SC prefix promises to be intriguing. Given the distillery's commitment to its traditional maturation periods, the debut of these distinct SC whisky releases are keenly anticipated in the coming years.

What our customers have been saying

wickman.net.au has an aggregate rating of 4.9 out of a potential 5 stars based on 100 Google ratings and reviews
"Can highly recommend.."
".. impressed by the ease and convenience.."
"..runs a very professional operation.."
".. I highly recommend Wickmans' services as both a seller and buyer of fine wines."
Review Rating

Quick Wine or Whisky Valuation

Please send the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your contact email
  • The location of the wine or whisky
  • A list of the wine or whisky (Qty, Vintage, Winery, Wine)