My second review for the month is from one of my favourite indigenous craft distilleries – The Lark. This one, the “Symphony No. 1” was introduced in 2020 and was the tazzie distilleries’ first blended malt consisting of a vat of spirits local to the state. I can see why Lark had coined the name – apt and imaginative, and a great representation of what they envisioned as the outcome.
The bottling comes in Lark’s traditional hip flask shaped design and initially came clothed in black with a few golden highlights, seen below, but has since taken up a lighter shade, now adorning a more sober grey. The whisky being a blend consists of three malts – one very much it’s own, another from it’s Bothwell distillery, the then NANT distillery and the third coming from Overeem. These spirits are an amalgamation of spirits matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, sherry and port casks, lending it an average age of 5-6 years.
ABV : 40.2%
Eye : Deep Gold | Non Chill Filtered, Natural Coloring
Nose : Malty, charred cantaloupe with the sweetness of honey and some dried fruits. Mild nuances of mangoes and wood infused with smoke and vanilla pudding; spiced notes emanating from bay leaves, cardamom tea with a hint of menthol and white pepper
Taste : Viscous on the palate with a medium body. Sweetness from honey, with a more dominant influence coming from musk melons. Spiced wood with the slightest of char and a pinch of orange citrus that hovers on the palate. Bay leaves, cloves and herbal spices trail towards the end.
Finish : Honey and char accompanied by a woody spice with mild tropical notes | Medium
The expression is quite aromatic on the nose with tropical flavours prancing around in addition to the lovely herbal spice that is both welcoming and engaging. The palate takes a bit of a sway in the opposite direction; though viscous and medium bodied it does feel a bit weak. Charred melons take centre stage but there are contributions from the spice, some deep flavours from the dried fruits and an interesting tangy twist towards the end. I felt the vast majority of the blend was influenced by the ex-bourbon barrels with the other casks adding some pizazz and layers to the base spirit.
For the price of AUD $135 for a 500ml bottle, this becomes less of an attraction especially considering the distillery has a large array of expressions at similar price points offering more value! All in all, a few highlights perhaps but nothing much that would make me brag or boast, very much a pass.
Maybe give it a go and let me know if your thoughts differ from mine?