Lark Distillery is synonymous with the Australian distilling scene. Known the world over for its award-winning malt whisky it is increasingly recognized for its gin. Its founder, Bill Lark, is credited with setting the scene for the craft distilling industry we see exploding in Australia today.
Over 20 years ago, Bill was enjoying his usual single malt whisky (probably Scottish) when he hatched his plan to start making a local Tasmanian whisky. First though he had to work hard to overturn a convict-era ban on small distilleries.
The ban originally came into effect to curb moonshining throughout Australia, what it achieved more effectively was hand the distilling industry over to larger industrial sized producers.
Bill was successful and in 1992, Lark Distillery was established, 153 years after the last Tasmanian distillery closed. There are now 17 distilleries in Tasmania, plenty of which produce fine gins, which Gin Lane will bring you in the coming months and years.
Set amongst the historic architecture of Hobart in Tasmania, Lark Distillery is one of those rare finds in Australia, a working distillery right in the middle of an urban area.
Despite its worldwide fame, Lark Distillery is not the largest of set ups. There is the tasting room for visitors with a pleasant outdoor setting, plus the usual behind the scenes areas for the actually making and barreling of the gin.
As this is the first time Gin Lane is offering a “barrel-aged” gin it was fascinating to see how it lined up against the mass of whisky barrels, which obviously take many more years to mature before it’s bottled for our pleasure.