A tale of two malts

“Beer is whisky that hasn’t met its full potential.”

At least that’s what Lark Distilling’s Head of Hospitality, Dan Knight, offers when asked what beer lovers should know about whisky.

It’s no doubt said with a tongue firmly planted in his cheek, as he also says that the Lark venues focus on Boilermakers because of their respect for beer.

“When you drink the right combination of whisky and beer together, it actually makes a drink that’s better than the whisky or the beer on their own,” he says.

And Lark takes beer seriously, having just launched the fifth iteration of its collaboration with Melbourne-based brewery Wolf of the Willows.

Under the collaboration, Wolf of the Willows uses Lark barrels to create an Imperial whisky version of its Johnny Smoke Porter, while a specially created Lark whisky blend is returned to those casks as soon as the beer is emptied.

Dan says the partnership is an integral part of what Lark sees as its shared passion for craft.

“I think what comes through in both the whisky and the beer is that they’re not just a regular beer and a whisky, there is a lot of intent behind matching these two, these two styles,” he explained.

“Taking something that is big and rich already in the smoke porter, and pairing it with a style of whisky that is big and rich and looking to kind of accentuate that style.”

The pairing of the two liquids through the boiler maker takes the idea even further, according to Campbell Nicoll, Venue Manager at Lark’s The Still & (Gin) Bar.

“At its simplest, [a Boilermaker] is simply having a beer and a whisky at the same time,” he said.

“But the potential in the combination can go a lot further than the idea of just a beer and a shot back.

“Especially when you talk about something like a collaboration between Lark and Wolf of the Willows.

“When you have a beer and a whisky that are innately linked, you’re talking about flavours coming from both of them that are intertwined with the other drink.

“So you’ve got flavours in the whisky introduced into the beer, and flavours from the beer introduced to the whisky, so you’re looking at a flavour pairing and a flavour combination that elevates those two things to be greater than the sum of their parts.”

Lark Wolf Release V

RRP: 100ml $79.99 AUD (inc gst)

500ml $279.99 AUD (inc gst)

ABV: 51%

Tasting notes:

NOSE: Subtle grassy hops are surrounded by toffee apple, baked pears and creamy hazelnut.

PALATE: Intense mocha with roasted malt, with dark chocolate and raspberry.

FINISH: Espresso ice cream will linger alongside a creaming soda.

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