Review: Lark Single Malt Cask Strength 2011 Cask 204

Category Tasmanian single malt whisky

Origin: Lark Distillery

Bottling: Offiicial

ABV: 58% ABV

Cost: £100

Score: 91/100

Lark Single Malt CS 2011

What they say:

Lark Distillery – Established 1992 Tasmania is ideally situated to make malt whisky, and yet 150 years after the last licenced Tasmanian distillery closed its doors, it took a whisky lover to realise the environment was perfect. Bill Lark realised that everything you need for a world-class whisky was in Tasmania – rich fields of barley, an abundance of wonderfully pure soft water, highland peat bogs, and the perfect climate to bring all the ingredients together in a marriage of science, art and passion. The vision of producing Tasmanian malt whisky was born on a trout fishing trip in the highlands of Tasmania. Bill’s father-in-law Max produced a wonderful bottle of single malt, and as they enjoyed a drink in the park at Bothwell, surrounded by Georgian buildings, barley fields and the gentle flowing of the Clyde River, Bill remarked to Max, “I wonder why there isn’t anyone making malt whisky in Tasmania”. Lark Distillery began as a family affair. Bill’s wife Lyn, and daughter Kristy, have played an integral part in growing the business. When Kristy joined the team as head distiller, she was one of the world’s youngest female distillers. Women are known for their ability to distinguish flavours and this superior talent in both Lyn and Kristy has given Lark products a notable edge.

Today the Lark Distillery is one of Australia’s leading distilleries, producing high quality, premium spirits using traditional time honoured methods. The Distillery runs an 1800 litre copper pot still along with a 500 litre spirit still. The range of distilled products includes the flagship Lark Single Malt Whisky and Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin.

Single malt CS

Despite its high strength, this Single Malt Whisky at 58% ABV is smooth and driven by rich malty alcohol. It carefully camouflages the floral and plum pudding notes to reveal a sensational rich Tasmanian malt bursting across the palate with hints of maple syrup and then meeting the sweet notes of highland peat. The above tasting notes highlight the true benefits of small-cask-ageing.

2011 Cask 204

Nose: A sweet, rich, spicy nose with a good touch of nutmeg, gives way to vanilla, honey and spices. A little turmeric too perhaps.

Palate: Big and oily. More than a hint of ginger, with apples, vanilla cream, pears and pastry. It’s a very big whisky, and whilst not massively complex, more than compensates with a huge intensity of flavour.

Finish: Lasts for a long, long time. Big on dry spices and clove-studded oranges.

What I say:

Sampled last year as part of our virtual world whisky tour. Tasmania is the hotbed of distilling over in Australia at the moment and we were very excited to sample whisky from the Lark Distillery, as producer Bill Lark is considered the godfather of Australian whisky!

Colour:

Dark copper/amber ‘old amontillado’ (15/20), thick and slow/heavy tears

Nose:

Woody oak, perfumed and herbal, vanilla, fruity peach and pear, banana, a little cereal porridge oats, stewed tea, sweet and savoury acacia honey, vanilla crème brulee, cloves and cinnamon

Taste:

Buttery and oily, woody fudge and toffee oak, a little spiced nutmeg and cinnamon, becomes slightly herbal, hazelnut, malty Horlicks, clove oil, honey and thick cut marmalade, madeira wine, gristy and oaty, crunchy nut cornflakes, a faint vaporous and spirit alcohol/bubblegum

Finish:

Medium-long, toffee oak, acacia honey and cinnamon spice

Overall:

Wow, this is a powerful single malt expression! Beautifully rich with a real intensity of flavours without being overly complex. A real pleasure to savour this one, and tempting us to seek out much more from the Lark distillery!