A tale of two Australian Larks

I’m back from Maltstock. It was amazing as usual, but until i settle down again after a few days of boozing and having fun with friends, here are a couple of drams i’ve tried before i flew. more on Maltstock, later this week (or the next ).

Lark distillery is perhaps the the best known Tasmanian distillery, created by Bill Lark (which now have also bought Overeem ditillery). I have tasted a few of their single cask releases (they usually do release those), but for some reason never posted notes on the Blog. A few months ago I was visited by David, a whisky friend from down under, who brought me a sample of those two larks. It took me some time, but finally i sat down to try them head to head.

Lark Apple Brandy finish, 58.0%, NAS


This again is a single cask expression, bottled at cask strength but this time finished in Australian ex-apple brandy casks with all apples sourced from the Huon Valley in Tasmania. Only 100 bottles produced.

Nose : nice touches of apple sugar and malt. More red fruit on second wave of aromas. A certain grappa feeling to it. Very perfumed.

Palate: Granny Smith apple with sweeter fruit such as ripe plum. Tannins and sweet fortified wine. Dry and chilly spices too. A bit smoky.

Finish: Apple pie, sugar, smoke.

This is a tasty dram, with a twist. the same Lark DNA with an additional apple taste and some sweet fruit and smoke.

Score: 87/100

Lark Port Finish, 20th anniversary, 50.5% , $359 (AU)lark_20

This whisky was bottled in 2012, from a “marriage” of their finest 150 single casks in the

recently decanted “National Treasure”Seppeltsfield Para Port Barrel #1, laid down in 1878 by Joseph Seppelt. producing a magnificent dram.

Nose:  Lots of oomph. But not surprising. Red berries jam, and other stewed red fruit. Spices. Ginger. Lots of sugar and desert wine with icing sugar. Whiff of smoke and  candy : maybe some  wine gums.

Palate: Big sweet entry:  Lots of sugar with a nice fruitiness. Berries. Plums. Sugar. Sweet port and earthy peaty tang. Smoke. Sultanas and nuts. A slight touch of strawberry filled chocolate too. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.

Finish: Sweet. Spicy. Fruity and a hint of smoke.

An absolute cracker of a dram, with the port giving it an extra sweet/fruity dimension, and the earthy smoke adding another. I love that. It’s the best Lark I’ve had to date. period.

Score: 92/100

Many thanks to David for the samples.

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