1 May 2014
Two barrels of whisky from Lark Distillery in Hobart will be matured on board Spirit of Tasmania I and II for two years.
The barrels will be placed on board the vessel this week to coincide with Whisky Week (from 1 May) – part of the successful Flavours of Tassie showcase, an initiative that gives passengers a chance to sample a range of Tasmanian-grown and produced food and beverages on board.
The whisky will later be released into a number limited edition 700ml bottles.
Owner and founder of Lark Distillery Bill Lark said: “Normally whisky is matured in a larger hogs head barrel which can take up to eight years.
“The whisky on board will mature in smaller 20lt barrels and with the gentle rolling effect of Bass Strait, we believe the whisky will be sensational after just two years.
“Our best whisky previously has come from these beautiful 20lt barrels.
“We are convinced that the barrels on Spirit of Tasmania will deliver a rich, intense, luscious malt influenced by the Bass Strait and ship board environment as the barrels breathe in and out during maturation.
“Hopefully the whisky will have picked up that sort of salty fresh flavour as in some of those wonderful island distilleries of Scotland.”
Lark Distillery will be joined by four other distilleries - Belgrove Distillery, Old Hobart Distillery, William McHenry and Sons Distillery and Relands Estate – in the whisky-tasting week on board Spirit of Tasmania where passengers will be able to meet the distillers on board, talk to them about how their whisky is made and sample tastings.
After the success of last year’s Flavours of Tassie, the showcase is being extended from two months (May - June in 2013) to seven months (May – November in 2014).
Flavours of Tassie has improved the popularity of many Tasmanian businesses who have participated in the program, including Lark Distillery.
“It is the most wonderful thing to greet passengers who have made a special effort to seek us out in Hobart after their experience on Spirit of Tasmania,” Mr Lark said.
“Some of those passengers may have never known about us or where to find us and we have certainly experienced a significant increase in awareness following our time on board.
“Visitors are certainly coming to Tasmania to explore the emerging whisky scene and are keen to discover as much as possible while they are here in Tasmania. Visitors who follow the whisky trail become great ambassadors for Tasmania and Tasmanian whisky.
“The demographic of whisky consumers is broadening all the time as consumers are discovering that Single Malt Whisky is something more than simply a drink.
“I often catch customers simply enjoying nosing a whisky for 10 minutes before taking their first sip, so complex and enticing is the experience.
“Single Malt Whisky is very much a social drink which in itself can create a special moment or atmosphere amongst friends.”
Distillery owner William McHenry enjoys the one-on-one experience to talk to people on board about his range.
“I love to tell them about the beautiful places to go and see in our part of Tasmania - the Tasman Peninsula,” he said.
“We were on board twice last year and plan to be on board at least four times this year - we love it.
“We had a number of people visit us at our Salamanca market stall and now we have our new bond store and tasting room open at the Distillery where we will be able to encourage more people to visit us.”
Peter Bingwell, from Belgrove Distillery, makes the only Rye Whisky in Australia and is looking forward to educating passengers about how Tasmania makes world class whisky products.
“A lot of people, especially younger people, are becoming more adventurous with their taste buds and have realised that by sipping whiskies they can find a huge range of flavours,” he said.
Old Hobart Distillery Marketing and Distribution Manager Jane Overeem said passengers would be able to try the distillery’s Port and Sherry Cask single malt whisky expressions.
“The whisky trail demonstrated the absolute support of the ever growing Tasmanian whisky industry,” she said.
“It allows customers to land on one page and see how many operators there are in Tasmania. The whisky trail reveals the craftsmanship and passion behind the operators.”
Phil Fitzpatrick opened Redlands Distillery a year ago. His distillery is one of two 'paddock to bottle' single malt whisky distilleries in the world (the other is Kilchoman in Scotland).
“As we are only new, our whiskeys are still in maturation, so we’ll be offering travellers on board our apple schnapps and liqueur range, made from Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider.
Spirit of Tasmania’s whisky tasting week will commence on 1 May 2014. The Flavours of Tassie showcase will continue until November.
Contact: Soniya Fernandez