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Issue 82 - Lark's Rise

Whisky Magazine Issue 82
September 2009


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Lark's Rise

Australian whisky has come of age. At the forefront of the country's drive for credibility is Bill Lark. Our man met him for a tinny.

If you're a traditionalist and of the view that the only country that can produce great malt is Scotland, then the sight of a fully bearded, fleecy-wearing Australian strolling across a Fife golf course offering advice on how to build a distillery there must have been a shock to the system.

Ironically, though, the presence at Kingsbarns on the Cambo estate in East Fife of Bill Lark, Australia's premier whisky maker, had absolutely everything to do with tradition, because when it comes to making single malt the old-fashioned way, the Lark Distillery in Tasmania is at the top of the game.

These are heady times for Australian whisky in general and for its Godfather Bill Lark in particular. His presence as a consultant to Scotland's latest distillery project caps a remarkable few months that have done much to cement Australia's reputation as a country with a golden distilling future. Over the last year one of Lark's whiskies picked up the World Whisky Award for the best malt from a non-traditional whisky making country, while the highly-respected Malt Maniacs awarded one of Lark's whiskies the thumbs up award for the most exciting new release in the premium malt sector.

A trip to Scotland to work on a new distillery project is the icing on the cake, but the involvement of Lark and his countrymen Greg Ramsay and Peter Bignell in the proposed Kingsbarns Distillery makes total sense. Doug Clement, who works at the Kingsbarns Golf course and is a driving force behind the new proje...

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