Lark Single Cask LD126, 43%

Price: $154.00 Issue: Winter 2010 Reviewer: Dave Broom

Although the Aussie whisky-making industry started in Tasmania, the distilling bug is spreading across the country. Small-scale the distilleries may be, but the use of brewer's yeast, local peat (in Tasmania's case), and wood sourced from the wine industry has immediately given Aussie whisky an identity of its own. Yes, it's tiny, but every great new whisky, no matter where it is from, chips away at Scotch whisky's hegemony. Tasmanian-based Bill Lark is the founding father of the modern Australian whisky industry. He uses local peat and ages in small casks — and only does single cask releases. This means that by the time a tasting note is written the whisky has gone, but here's what I thought of one of them. There's a glimpse of some fresh malt, but it is the heightened aromatics that are the most interesting here. Lark points to the yeast mix as the origin of this scent. His small stills, however, give a muscularity to the palate, while the oak is in balance. €99