Lark Private Cask Aged 9 Years
January 2020

Lark Private Cask Aged 9 Years

Distilled back in March 2005 when Bill Lark, the Godfather of Aussie Whisky was still on the tools, this beauty was initially filled into two ex-Port casks (LD166 and LD167) before re-casking into ex-Bourbon cask LD477 in 2008. January’s Member Add-in was old school Lark at its best!

Australia

Colour Light gold

Nose Like stepping into a lolly shop… sweet glacé orange and cherry, crisp apples, boiled lollies, fairy floss, and well balanced spice

Palate Oily with a full body, it’s a syrupy tropical fruit salad with green apples, rockmelon and citrus fruits, topped with fairy floss, with just a hint of spice.

Finish Ends with a mouthwatering fizz as the last of the spices roll around your tongue

Food Match Oven roasted salmon and greens

Overview

January's edition of our ongoing series of hand-picked local whiskies representig the cream of Aussie whisky making was one of the oldest (and possibly even the best) Lark single malts ever released. Distilled back in March 2005 when Bill Lark, the Godfather of Aussie Whisky was still on the tools, it was initially filled into two ex-Port casks (LD166 and LD167) before re-casking into ex-Bourbon cask LD477 in 2008 for a further five year maturation before it was decanted in 2015.

Aged 9 years, this is quintessential vintage Lark, and in a sip reminds you how we came to have the amazing whisky industry that we all enjoy today. A flawless symphony of sweet glacé orange and cherry, crisp apples, boiled lollies, fairy floss, and well balanced spice – this is old school Lark at it’s best!

This private cask release was a one-off, limited edition release selected from a very old and rare barrel, available only to Whisky Club Members. You simply cannot find Lark like this anymore and it sold out in record time to some very happy Members - make sure you join the Club now to avoid missing another local whisky exclusive!

WHISKY SPECS

Price: $230.00

Age: 9 Years Old

ABV: 46%

Maturation: Initially filled into two ex-Port casks (LD166 and LD167) before re-casking into ex-Bourbon cask LD477 in 2008

Lark's History

The story of Lark Distillery is, in essence, so much more than that of just the distillery itself – it forms the genesis of the modern Australian whisky industry as we know it.

Back in the 1800s, the powers-that-be saw Tasmania as being somewhat of a “breadbasket” for the rest of the colonies - its perfect farmlands ideal for growing barley - but why bake bread when you can make whisky, right? The Sorell Distillery on the banks of the Hobart Rivulet was the first to open in 1822, closely followed by an ever growing number of distilleries keen to peddle their wares to the booming population (many of whom had come over as convicts) who, let’s just say, enjoyed a drink or three. It wasn’t long before there were at least 16 legal distilleries (and who knows how many illegal ones) in operation in Tasmania.

As the story goes, in 1838 the wife of Tasmanian Governor John Franklin and resident killjoy Lady Jane Franklin stated “I would prefer barley be fed to pigs, than it be used to turn men into swine”. And with that, in an effort to maintain domestic peace and harmony, the Guv immediately outlawed the distilling of spirits in Tasmania, and it was all over for the local industry.

With Australia’s Federation at the turn of the century, the Distillation Act of 1901 allowed some opportunities for those in the fortified wine game, but given the minimum legal still size was around 2700 litres, it was not such an easy proposition to set yourself up as a craft spirit producer. There’s little doubt some moonshiners remained in operation, but it was going to be another century before we’d actually see any legitimate whisky come out of Tasmania.

Fast-forward to 1989, and a chap by the name of Bill Lark went on a trout fishing trip in Tasmania’s Highlands with his father-in-law, Max. Enjoying a dram in a park in Bothwell, taking in the sights of the Georgian buildings, barley fields and the Clyde River, Bill questioned why nobody was making malt whisky in Tasmania – after all, not only is the climate perfect, there’s an abundance of crystal-clear water, locally grown barley and peat bogs. It just seemed logical. So, Bill being Bill set out to have a go, but upon applying for a license discovered Lady Jane’s law was still in place. Undaunted he contacted his local MP and before long the law was abolished, allowing Lark Distillery to be formed in 1992, paving the way for the modern Australian whisky industry as we know it today. Hot on the heels of Lark came Small Concern Distillery (1992), Sullivans Cove (1994) and Hellyers Road (1999) in Tasmania. Together these distilleries forged ahead and were joined along the way by others including Nant, Overeem, Belgrove and McHenry, and in recent years Old Kempton, Shene, Spring Bay, Fannys Bay, Adams, Launceston and Killara to name only a few of the forty or so (that’s almost as many as Speyside!) distilleries that make Tasmania the whisky isle of the South.

So, what came out of your last fishing trip?

Lark has continued to grow over the years, having progressed from Bill’s kitchen bench to a large facility in the heart of one of Tasmanian’s best known wine regions, Coal River Valley, just a stone’s throw from Sullivans Cove Distillery. The distillery features an 1800 litre wash still, and a 900 litre spirit still which both run 7 days a week. Looking at the size of the stills in use by Lark today, it’s no wonder the minimum 2700 litre size specified by the Distillation Act of 1901 made it impossible for anyone to be in the business back then...

Lark brew their own wash on site, usinge Tasmanian grown barley, around half of which is gently smoked with peat cut from their own peat bog in the Tasmanian Highlands. If a big Islay Peat is not your thing, have no fear, this is nothing like an Ardbeg or Laphroaig. After fermenting for 7 days, the spirit is run through the stills, the new make spirit then broken down from 72% to 63.4% ABV with ultra-filtered water and transferred to 100 litre Australian Port, Apera and 200 litre American Bourbon oak casks where it’s left for anywhere between 4 and 10 years before being released to the public.

Each of the locally sourced casks is checked for quality by the head distiller Chris Thomson, who allocates each parcel of casks to a release. After maturation, the casks are married casks together ensuring each release of Lark whisky fits within their house style, or are tailored for limited releases, like our Whisky Club Exclusive release.

Lark Private Cask Aged 9 Years Lark Private Cask Aged 9 Years

Distillery Facts

Region: Tasmania

Origin: 40 Denholms Rd, Cambridge TAS 7170

Founded: 1992

Water Source: Meadowbank Dam

Washbacks: 23 x 2000L stainless steel

Stills: 4, 2 wash and 2 spirit

Capacity: 150,000 liters per annum

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