The origins of whisky can be dated back to the 15th century in Ireland. However, it may have existed for many years before that. As whisky was introduced to Scotland (late 15th century), it became popular with the locals, and later many distilleries were established.
Whisky is essentially a clear spirit derived from malted grains. While barley is the most common grain used in the mix, any grain can be used in its place. This clear spirit is then matured in oak barrels, and the minimum length of maturation can depend on where the whisky is distilled. In Scotland (arguably the home of whisky), whisky needs to be matured in oak barrels for at least three years. In Australia, the minimum ageing period is two years.
A whisky's flavour is dominated by malt and oak because malted barley is its main ingredient, and it is matured in oak barrels. However, most distilleries will aim for a unique flavour, and they'll use a mix of different grains. The barrels that whisky is matured in is integral to the flavour the whisky takes on.
How to choose the right whisky?
With so many whiskies available at Lark Distillery, you're almost spoiled for choice. Deciding which one to start with can be challenging for the novice whisky drinker. Visiting a whisky bar or cellar door is an excellent choice when you're starting out with whisky. Our cellar door is open most days of the year, and our staff are on hand to help you choose from the 200 whisky varieties we have available.
When you're just looking to sample a few drinks before investing in a bottle, buying a whisky tasting set is a great option. These come with at least one bottle of our Australian single malt whisky, or blended whisky, and a Glencairn whisky glass. These sets can make for an exquisite whisky gift pack for anyone interested in premium whisky.
Reading about whisky and looking at tasting notes can help you find a whisky that suits your tastes. Australian whisky is not governed by specific distilling systems or ingredients, like many other worldwide whiskies. This has allowed the whisky industry in Australia to determine its own path, and you'll find there is a wide variety of different methods and styles. However, most Australian distilleries will follow traditional Scottish methods, but with some specific tweaks and adjustments.
After you've read the tasting notes about the whisky on offer, you can choose one that has flavours that you enjoy. Whisky has a specific taste to it, and the difference is often in the nuanced flavours. The grain used in the mash, the types of barrels used, and the length of maturation will all have a bearing on the flavours you'll experience. You'll find that an aged whisky is often better than a younger one, as it has had more time in contact with wood. Older whiskies are often labelled as smooth whisky because the flavours are more apparent, and it is easier to drink. To get a good feel for the best whisky, it is ideal to sample whiskies of all different ages and distilling methods.
What food goes well with whisky?
Most people are aware that pairing wine with food can enhance both to new levels. But when it comes to whisky, some people can feel it is best consumed alone, mainly if they stick to whisky representation in popular culture.
Luckily, whisky works incredibly well with many foods. If you have roasted red meat, then a glass of the finest single malt whisky will be simply outstanding. Grilled pork ribs are another excellent choice for serving with your favourite whisky. If you're enjoying a smoky whisky, then pairing it with salmon and any oily seafood can be the perfect match.
Whisky will also work well with many desserts. A fruit-based crumble is brilliant with a premium whisky, and apple pie works well with any rye whisky. If you prefer chocolate, then a bar of quality dark chocolate is delightfully pleasant with any Australian whisky.
If you have guests over for a whisky tasting session, then a well-crafted charcuterie board with cured meat, fruit, and an assortment of cheese will go down a treat. It is best to choose fruits apparent in the whisky as it'll help showcase the flavours. Your cheese selection can include aged hard cheese and soft nutty flavoured cheese (brie, camembert, etc.).
Where can I buy the best whisky near me?
At Lark Distillery, we have all our premium Tasmanian whisky available in our online shop. You can choose any of these to add to a whisky delivery and have them sent directly to your door. While you can find many of our whiskies in retail liquor stores, by shopping online, you'll have access to our entire catalogue, including our smokey whisky and other rare whiskies.
If you're visiting Tasmania, the home of Australian whisky, then you're welcome to come in and see us at our cellar door. Here, our experienced staff can curate a whisky tasting flight that is selected based on your flavour preferences. In our cellar door, we have over 250 local and international whiskies to choose from. If you're shopping online and need help choosing from our selection, you can contact our team, and we'll offer our recommendations.