By Ian Neubauer
Tasmania moved one step closer toward recognition as a producer of world-class whisky after the Lark Distillery’s LD-100 batch was named Best Other Single Malt Whiskey at the World Whisky Awards 2009 in London.
The competition saw more than 150 international whiskies put through blind taste tests judged some of the best noses in the business, including Whisky Magazine’s editorial team, master blenders, brand ambassadors and boutique retailers from around the world.
Lark Distillery marketing manager Ross Dinsmoor said Tasmania was home to a unique amalgam of inputs that made its whisky stand out.
“It is a combination of all the things available to us on the island,” he said. “We have special water, we have some of the best barley the world and it really is a barley specially developed for Tasmania. We also have some of the most unusual peat found anywhere in the world – a native peat made of things that are botanically different from the Scottish variety. Everything we have here comes together for us.
“What also makes a difference is the fact that we only make 1000 litres at the time. We have hands-on control over every aspect of it, including tasting along the way, and use 100-litre barrels that are much easier to extract flavour from,” he said.
Only one 100-litre barrel of LD-100 was ever made, from which 75 litres of 63 per cent whiskey was derived after accounting for evaporation and tasting. The product was then filtered down to 58 per cent, resulting in 150 500ml bottles.
Only a few bottles of LD-100 remain and are available exclusively through Lark Distilleries cellar door for $240 a piece.
“Tasmania will be a major place for whisky over the next 10 to 20 years,” Dinsmoor said. “People will be coming here from around the world for whisky tasting.”