I am happy to say that even sinners can get something fine for the body - if not the Soul - in this fair Island; indeed possibly the finest in the world.
The Water of Life.
Temporal, not eternal.
Yes, Tasmania makes Whisky, and not just any old ersatz stuff, but the Finest there is.
A fine lass, Emma Hope, stopped by to let me sample her wares, and to tell me about Bill Lark.
THE Godfather of Australian whisky, Bill Lark, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the World Whisky Awards in London, becoming the first distiller in the southern hemisphere to receive the honour.
Lark is an Australian single malt whisky, proudly unique in character and style, crafted in small batches exclusively from pure Tasmanian ingredients, matured in small barrels, hand-bottled by whisky lovers in Tasmania for whisky lovers world-wide.
Lark Distillery was the first licensed distillery in Tasmania since 1839. It was established in 1992 to produce Australian malt whisky, rich in character with a big finish using Tasmanian ingredients. Lark Distillery is very proudly a boutique Tasmanian owned distillery dedicated to maintaining its proven high quality malt whisky and other unique Tasmanian spirits.
|Bill Lark, master distiller|
Wouldn't you just love to own a distillery? I reckon I could count on perhaps four hundred hands the number of chaps I know who would.Tasmania Distillery, which produces Sullivan’s Cove Whisky – winners of The World’s Best Single Malt at last year’s awards – won the Icons of Whisky award for Craft Distiller of the Year.And Sullivan’s Cove took out the Best Australian Single Malt award for the third year in a row.The Tasmanian distillery’s French Oak was chosen as the best single malt to come out of Australia in 2015.Last year, the whisky claimed the ultimate prize and was named the world’s best single malt.Speaking from the awards ceremony in London, Sullivans Cove general manager Patrick Maguire said he was thrilled to pick up another win.“It’s still quite unbelievable that we keep winning these incredible international awards and it just goes to show the quality of Sullivan’s Cove as a truly world-class single malt whisky,” he said.The Whisky Hall of Fame is international commendation and a permanent tribute to those who have made a lasting contribution to the world of whisky.Mr Lark is only the seventh person outside of Scotland or Ireland to be inducted.Mr Lark said when he established the Tasmanian whisky industry in 1992 he realised that everything needed 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”.Mr Lark was recognised for his humble and generous philosophy.Willing to share his vast knowledge, Mr Lark has assisted more than nine start-up distilleries in Tasmania alone and has grown a hugely successful premium craft spirit industry in Australia.He is often quoted as saying “a rising tide lifts all boats”.“I thought people might think we were trying to teach the Scots how to suck eggs and they would think — ‘what are you doing, you silly colonial? We make whisky, you make beer!’ But in fact it’s been exactly the opposite. We have had tremendous support from the single malt industry worldwide, and from consumers.”Lark Distillery is very proudly a boutique distillery dedicated to maintaining its proven high-quality malt whisky and other unique Tasmanian spirits.Lark whisky is crafted in small batches and matured in small barrels, and five to seven years later bottled by hand.Today, Lark Distillery is one of Australia’s leading distilleries, producing high-quality, premium single malt whisky using traditional time-honoured methods.
Tasmanian distiller, Patrick Maguire, owner of Sullivans Cove Whisky. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE
A pun there !!Sullivans Cove has had a dramatic turn-around since going into liquidation in 2003.
“Knowing the impact winning world’s best whisky last year had on the industry, I’m sure these two gongs will really cement Tasmania’s place on the world whisky map,” owner Patrick Maguire said.“The award last year was for our product but this year it’s for our industry.“Tasmania winning these two awards is really an amazing thing, particularly when you’re up against hundreds of other distilleries from around the world, so for us to even be mentioned is a major achievement.”Tasmania’s whisky industry is on the crest of a wave with many distilleries unable to keep up with demand.There are currently 11 operating distilleries in Tasmania with four more to be established by the end of the year.
THE WINNERS:Best Single Malt – Kavalan Whisky (Taiwan) Solist Vinho BarriqueBest Flavoured Whisky – Master of Malt 40yo Speyside Whisky LiqueurBest Grain Whisky - Darkness North British 18yo Oloroso Cask FinishBest Pot Still Whisky – Redbreast Pot Still 15yoBest American Whisky – Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye WhiskyBest Scotch Blended Malt – Wemyss Malts’ Velvet FigBest Blended Malt – Nika Whisky Taketsuru Pure Malt 17yoBest African Blended – Three Ships Bourbon Cask FinishBest European Blended – Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM no1Best Irish Blend – Tullamore D.E.W PhoenixBest Japanese Blend – Suntory Hibiki 12yoBest Blend – That Boutiquey Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1 Batch 1Best African Single Malt – Three Ships Single Malt 10yoBest American Single Malt – Balcones Distilling Texas Single MaltBest Irish Single Malt – Teeling Whisky Single MaltBest Australian Single Malt – Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask MaturedBest European Single Malt – Mackmyra Whisky IskristallBest Japanese Single Malt – Suntory Yamazaki 18yoBest Lowland Single Malt – Highland Harvest Single Malt Sauternes WoodBest Highland Single Malt – The Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18yoBest Campbelltown Single Malt – Longrow 11yoBest Spreyside Single Malt – BenRiach 16yoBest Islands Single Malt – Ledaig 10yoBest Islay Single Malt – Ardbeg Kildalton
I can recommend a visit to the distillery. You can buy your own 'starter' barrel and special (quite large) !! bottles. Of course. Mind you they will cost an arm and a leg even for a small amount.
A fine way to get legless.
But, be in no doubt. It is wonderful for the mortal spirit but won't do much for the Immortal.
Drink up of both.