cascode

Lark Single Malt Cask Strength

Peated Single Malt — Tasmania, Australia

Tasted
5.0
5.0 out of 5 stars
Australian Single Malt Whisky Tasting (Part 2), The Oak Barrel, Sydney 17 January 2020, Whisky #5 Nose: Sweet and full, malty, leathery with restrained spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Honey and vanilla make an appearance together with dusky oranges, dried apricots, butterscotch syrup and light oak, but it is primarily a rich and multi-faceted malty nose with a tinge of smoke. Palate: An arrival of big malty fullness with a texture that is oily and encompassing. The development brings out ginger snap biscuits, Christmas cake, fresh red apples, creme caramel, dried dates, dried figs and butterscotch pastry. There is a minute whisper of elusive smoke. Finish: Long. Toffee cereal flavours resound into a warm citrus aftertaste. Surprisingly, this is not a particularly complex whisky with manifold facets. Rather it is straightforward but each element of the profile has great depth. It is a very satisfying, intense and rewarding whisky. Water adds an extra spectrum and incredibly seems to add creaminess and depth rather than diluting the experience. The fruity notes become lighter and fresher, the creaminess is more elegant, the spice notes more sharply defined and the smoke note slightly amplified. It can accept considerable dilution without stress. Bill Lark is the godfather of Australian whisky. Without his activity in the 1990s to change state and federal legislation there would be no Australian whisky, rum or gin industry as it currently exists. The fact that he also found time to create spirits of impeccable quality is further testament to his energy and talent, if any were needed. Lark Cask Strength Single Malt is released occasionally by Lark Distillery in various forms. It changes with each batch and the casking has included first-fill ex-bourbon, sherry and port barrels in various combinations and sizes. Maturation is sometimes reversed from the usual approach, starting with a fortified wine cask and finishing in ex-bourbon. The age and strength of the batches also varies - it's released "when and as it's ready" and it has appeared in a variety of bottle shapes with different labels over the years, in 200, 500 and 700ml sizes. This is a stunning whisky and I have no hesitation in rating it at 5-stars (in my tasting journal I gave it 92/100). It's a desert island dram and it's a pleasure to make it my 600th review on Distiller. "Outstanding" : 5 stars
200.0 AUD per Bottle
  • cascode

    @PBMichiganWolverine Same story as Japanese whisky - sudden huge demand sucked up all the available stock. You can't even buy it from the cellar door at the moment, and none of the local retailers have any. Oh, and here's a fun piece of gossip - you know the Sullivan's Cove French Cask that Jim Murray raved about a few years ago? That spirit run was managed by Bill Lark who was brought in by Sullivan's Cove as a consultant to help them improve the spirit.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Slainte-Mhath @cascode i used to be able to find Sullivan’s Cove for less than USD$100 7 years ago. I got all three (French oak, American oak, and double oak) 7 years ago...then suddenly, became super rare to find anywhere

  • cascode

    @Slainte-Mhath I'm not surprised, it's rare even here!

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @cascode It's only a 5 cl vial of Sullivans Cove Double Cask bottled by La Maison du Whisky (Whisky In Tube). I have never seen a whole bottle anywhere in Europe, it seems to be super-rare.

  • cascode

    @Slainte-Mhath Nice! Which expression did you find?

  • Soba45

    Congrats and great review. I really really want to go to Tasmania one day and visit as many distilleries as I can.

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @cascode Congrats on 600 reviews! You don't find much Australian whisky here, I was already lucky to finally get a sample of Sullivans Cove.

  • Rick_M

    Interesting stuff! You could become the jim Murray of Australia. :) Happy 600!

  • cascode

    @PBMichiganWolverine Unfortunately that's the reality of it - ultra small scale production and high costs means high prices. I was chatting with the store spirits manager after the tasting tonight and he's of the opinion that as long as the economy holds out we are about to see a big shift in things over the next decade. A lot of small distillerys will probably close (did you know there are almost as many in Australia right now as in Scotland?) but the mid and large scale operations will evolve to the next step. For example, up until now nearly everything in Australia has been matured in local ex-wine casks or impoirted 1st-fill casks. That's led to a certain gauche intensity of profile. However a lot of the important distilleries are just about to release refill cask matured expressions, and the word is that we're looking at a substantial improvement across the board. With luck prices will also fall over the next decade as the industry solidifies and venture capital sees it as a good investment.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    This one just got here to the US, really pricey though, as in all AUS whiskeys I guess