Monday, December 23, 2013

A Renaissance Whisky – Lark Single Cask Single Malt Whisky

Lark Single Cask Single Malt Whisky

Being a Dramcember post I will try to keep this as short and sweet as possible.

My father is slowly getting into whisky. He does not have a great nose for it, nor and history with drinking it in general but he certainly has a interest with a special interest in Australian whiskies.

Not long ago I put him onto watching the Landline episode that spoke about Australian whiskies being produced in Tasmania. While they were (still are) visiting for Christmas father asked which ones he might try and buy for a Christmas whisky. Well if there is any you should start with I thought Lark Distillery would a good choice considering Bill Lark is somewhat seen as the godfather of Australia's whisky revival. Not only that but in my opinion Lark Distillery is one with a rooted traditionalist background but a keen obvious desire to produce something uniquely Australian. The Lark lads are a jovial bunch to speak too and I think their personality speaks through their whiskies quite clearly.

So a few days ago I set off to my local bottle shop to pick my father up a bottle of Lark Single Cask Single Malt and what a great dramcember addition it is as well. As noted on the Lark Distillery website this whisky is around 50% peated barley using locally cut Tasmanian peat. My father has a taste for peated whiskies so this is a great comparison for him to build on with a bit of shock value thrown in.

Lark Single Cask Single Malt Whisky
Distillery: Lark Distillery
Location/Region: Tasmania, Australia
Alcohol: 43%
Cask No: 383
Barrel Aged: Port, 100L Quater Cask
Bottled: 2013
Price: $130 AU

Colour: Honey gold

Nose: Heavy burnt toffees, raisins, honey, woodish smoke with a strong damp medicinal salt and mineral oil scent. The later descriptors most likely forming from the Tasmania peat. Dribs and drabs of floral notes waft in and out but stone dampness is a key for me here. At this point you discover it is a whisky that is going to get your hands dirty as you dig a round and pull it apart.

Taste: Mouth puckering with an immediate fluid machine oil palate coating texture. Malts begin to thicken at this point with some salts and minerals in the forefront followed that same dampness sense with vegetive mass reinforced up the nose. Really textured and chewy leaving you puckering then smacking the lips. Flavour is densely packed with a considerably amount of complexity.

Finish: Long and warming. Leaves with a high heat in the palate and a deep spring in the chest. A strong scent of oily minerals remain slipping in the mouth.

Overall a stunning whisky with balance swaying towards those oils, minerals and salts. Not for the light hearted. This whisky is in your face, up your nose and out your ears, before tugging on your short and curls for good measure. Just the way a good Antipodean whisky should be. Peat with a difference it is wise to never mistaken Tasmanian peat for a obvious resemblance to your regular old Islay peat. Though in saying that I did find some very clear similarities in the peat notes of this whisky to the recently released Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary Edition (a whisky using mainland Scottish forest peat).

A true renaissance whisky, forming all the classical notes and then asserting some fresh boundaries in order to mark its territory. If I was to give a dram a healthy 6 out of 7. If your a bit of a explorer and want to discover something new go for this whisky, but if by chance your not so fond of change maybe this is the whisky to start broadening your palate.

I really enjoyed this whisky even if her rotund booty has to be reserved only for Friday night sexy times.

The Baron