Lark Distillery has unveiled a new single malt expression inspired by the elegance of Japanese whisky, Lark Mizunara Oak Cask. Mizunara Oak is one of the rarest and most expensive oaks in the world and the new offering from the Tasmanian whisky makers is a celebration of unique and memorable casks.
The Lark Mizunara Oak Cask comes from age-old trees featuring ancient trunks and branches that twist and turn together over time. It can take up to 200 years for this rare tree to suitably mature to the point where it is ready for the perfect whisky cask. From there, Lark’s Head Distiller, Chris Thomson, carefully selected second fill bourbon casks from the brand’s Bothwell Distillery, ensuring a precise and mature spirit which subtly influences the oak, so that the rare Mizunara Oak shines through, from cask to glass. The whisky spent three months in the Mizunara Cask, creating a marriage of the Tasmanian and Japanese styles.
On the nose, the whisky offers balanced notes of bright coconut, sandalwood and orange blossom, which intertwine with fresh summer apples, lemon, rose, and a hint of green tea. Toasted Mizunara oak shines on the palate, where more coconut joins flavors of fresh apple, topped with tropical lychee and guava. Delicate and soft, yet still complex, the palate rounds out with crisp pear and cherry pie. The finish is long and lingering, with notes of orchard fruits and rich custard.
“Mizunara Oak presented an interesting challenge as we wanted to stay true to the traditional style of and taste of Japanese whisky, while still retaining our own unique Tasmanian essence,” said Thomson. “The Mizunara Oak Cask is a true fusion of two island cultures that is perfectly in balance and it is an ideal experience for our first internationally-inspired release where we can embrace a different mentality and culture of whisky. We couldn’t be happier with the result, and combining the elegance of the spirit with the exquisite artwork from Yuko Shimizu really helped pay homage to these two cultures.”
Lark worked with Yuko Shimizu (清水裕子), a multi-award-winning Japanese illustrator, to create the bottle’s unique label design. The New York-based artist was chosen as one of the “100 Japanese People the World Respects” by Newsweek Japan. Her work includes multiple disciplines; from pages of The New York Times and TIME, to collaborations with the Smithsonian Museum and Library of Congress. Her design for the Mizunara Oak Cask joins Tasmania’s very own Kunanyi (Mt Wellington) with the unique history of Mizunara oak coopering in Japan.
Just 845 bottles of the new Lark Mizunara Oak Cask will be released and are available from the distillery website for AUD$1,000. The release comes with a complimentary 100ml tasting bottle for those who may want to keep their 700ml Mizunara Oak Cask unopened.
For more information, head over to Lark’s official website.
In June, Lark Distillery teamed up with Frogmore Creek Winery for a limited edition Ruby Pinot Cask Finish whisky. In March, the distillery announced the latest addition to its Rare Cask Series, PARA100. The new offering from the Tasmania-based brand follows the launch of PARA50, which hit shelves back in November.