The world’s best-travelled whisky is being bottled right now in Tasmania.
Originally placed in two unique 20-litre Australian fortified wine barrels in 2013 and loaded on board Spirit of Tasmania I and II more than 12-months ago, the whisky has matured on more than 403 crossings, travelling 172,887 kilometres in the process.
In doing so, Lark Distillery owner and founder Bill Lark said he hoped the whisky would have picked up a “salty fresh flavour similar to what you find in some wonderful island distilleries of Scotland”.
“The majority of Lark whisky is matured in 100L barrels, but some of our best has come from the smaller 20L barrels,” he said.
“We are convinced that the barrels we loaded on to Spirit of Tasmania I and II more than 12-months-ago will deliver a rich, intense, luscious malt influenced by Bass Strait and the ship board environment as the barrels breathe in and out during maturation.”
Mr Lark said the whisky would be released in a number of limited edition 500ml bottles.
The decanting process takes around 20 minutes and consists of tipping the whisky out of the cask into a settling vat which allows the whisky to clear and mellow over some weeks.
“We carefully bottle, label and pack all of our whisky by hand. This allows a visual check of each bottle to ensure absolute consistency,” Mr Lark said
“More than two years passed by and what was once a clear spirit has aged beautifully into a whisky with richness in colour similar to maple syrup with notes of plumb pudding delivered from the port cask.
“It has matured into a stunning example of what Lark and Tasmanian whisky has become famous for…big, balanced and clean, with rich malt flavours, sweet peat and candied orange peel – all balancing with the indulgent flavours from the port cask.”
The whisky bottling coincided with the third season of Spirit of Tasmania’s highly successful Flavours of Tassie program, an initiative that gives passengers a chance to sample a range of Tasmanian-grown and produced food and beverages on board.
Spirit of Tasmania Retail & Hospitality General Manager Nick Harriman said a number of new producers had been added to the more than 60 Tasmanian operators that have participated in the program previously.
“Spirit of Tasmania is obviously the perfect vehicle to showcase Tasmanian produce to visitors to the state,” he said.
“We have a brand new Flavours of Tassie station, set up in a high-traffic area, directly opposite our new Bar 7.
“Providing this opportunity to Tasmanian gourmet food and beverage suppliers was an easy decision.”
Mr Harriman said the limited-edition bottles would be sold onboard in ship’s newly refurbished store, The Pantry, for $145.00.
Mr Lark said Spirit of Tasmania passengers would be able to enjoy Lark’s Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky and newly released Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin.
The Flavours of Tassie program starts on 1 September and concludes 30 November.