There’s no doubting that the Lark Distillery slogan is true. We met Kristy & Keira at the Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar, and talked about the ingredients making this proudly Tasmanian family business such a huge success. They’ve clearly measured the quantities of science, art and passion to deliver the perfect balance.

Lark Distillery on Hobart's Waterfront
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Lark Distillery Cellar Door: great location for relaxing

What a Lark! Distillery Business Born

Kristy Lark’s passion for the distillery business shines through. Pointing to the copper contraption in the corner, she claims to have grown up with a whisky still outside her bedroom window. Now not many people can make that claim!

She tells the tale of how the idea for making whisky (legally) in Tasmania came to fruition after a 150-year hiatus. Her father Bill caught some fish in the Central Highlands one day, celebrating with a Scotch. Musing over the fact that whisky wasn’t made in Tasmania (and to cut a delightful story short) from there it was a matter of… why don’t we make whisky? Wife Lyn concurred, and the rest is history!

Lark Distillery - Constitution Dock, Hobart
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Constitution Dock, Hobart: Lark Distillery cellar door

With Tasmania’s supply of pure mountain waters, premium quality barley and fragrant Highland peat” you would wonder why the idea hadn’t been floated before. But to underestimate the vision and drive of the family in launching Lark Distillery would be making a serious error in judgement. Laws had to be changed regarding the size of the distillation equipment; and science also has it’s own time frame. Whisky takes many years to mature in the carefully selected oak barrels.

Lark Distillery - Whisky Bar
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Customers enjoy the fruits of the Lark Distillery process

So with patience added to the list of ingredients, connoisseurs from around the world can now enjoy a range of products from the Lark Distillery. Using Tasmanian produce wherever possible (like cherries, apples and pepper berries in their liqueurs and spirits), artificial additives are strictly not required.

Lark Distillery - Cellar Door Tastings
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Gavin learns the finer points of Lark Distillery from Kristy

Lark Distillery Cellar Door & Whisky Bar, Hobart Docks

A visit to the Cellar Door is not just for confirmed whisky drinkers. Husbands who’ve done their time at markets and art galleries, bring their wives along for a tasting session. Kristy and Keira, the cellar door manager, are quite proud of their conversion rate, matching products to palates so everyone can enjoy the experience.

For the adamant non-drinkers, the Hobart waterfront location is still a nice place to enjoy a coffee or a meal. Friday evening patrons are treated to sessions of free live music by house band Coyote Serenade. With a name like that, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn they play a mix of blues, country and folk music and use instruments including a ukulele and a squeeze box!

Lark Distillery - Historic Venue
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Lark Distillery Whisky Bar: great venue for live music

The historic building (previously used for timber storage due to its proximity to Constitution Dock) makes for a great venue and a tour of the site costs $15 for adults. The display includes equipment used to retrieve the peat  from the Central Highlands in order to smoke the barley. Not many mining licenses would be granted in Tasmania (or anywhere) to companies whose list of equipment reads:

  1. Shovel
Lark Distillery - Cellar Door Tours & Tastings
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Lark Distillery Cellar Door & Whisky Bar

Serious enthusiasts can book longer tours, lasting from one to four days. These adventures include discovering the secret art of whisky making with the distiller; and digging your own blocks of peat from the Lark Distillery lease-hold. Such a unique experience;  now added to the definite must list of  things to do in Tasmania.

Lark Distillery Cellar Door Manager, Keira
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Keira: Lark Cellar Door, the best place to work!

For followers of Junior MasterChef, the contestant from Tasmania is Kristy’s younger brother, Jack Lark. She couldn’t be persuaded to give us an exclusive inside scoop on the result, other than to say the family were very proud of him. And so they should be, he’s been doing a fine job. Maybe the head chef for another Lark Distillery future development.

Think Tasmania was a guest of Lark Distillery for a tasting session.

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Map: Lark Distillery, Hobart Tasmania…