Lark Small Cask Aged Single Malt Review

Distillery: Lark. Region: Tasmania. ABV: 43%. No age statement (5-8 years).

This bottle of Lark Small Cask Aged Single Malt Whisky was a long way from its home when I found it here in Chicago. It travelled almost 10,000 miles across the vast Pacific Ocean from its birthplace in Hobart, Tasmania, to reach my glass. What a journey!

Lark’s Small Cask Aged release is distilled from Tasmanian barley, 50% peated, 50% unpeated. It’s aged in 100-liter casks (about 26 gallons) to accelerate the maturation process. It’s a technique common among many American microdistillers, which will use barrels as small as 5 gallons to maximize oak influence and move product to market faster than would be possible otherwise.

The nose is sweet with notes of warm brown sugar mixed with spice and cereal grains. The palate has notes of citrus fruits, with more subtle spice and maltiness, but also damp wood and light campfire smoke. There’s enough complexity within its thick oily texture to contemplate while enjoying its warm, medium-long finish.

As far as this bottle traveled, Lark’s Small Cask reminded me that sometimes it’s in fact the destination, and not the journey, that is most important.

Cheers! -JTR

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