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A training partner of mine is heading off to the navy for a half dozen years tomorrow, so we went own to the Lark and did a tasting of four Lark Distillery bottlings, as well as two other drams. This was the last of the four Lark tastings of the day
The LD89 was matured in madeira oak barrels - apparently this was the first Lark bottling to have come out of madeira barrels, so my interest was immediately piqued.
The results of the madeira barrels are noticeable immediately, as the traditional Lark maltiness was almost completely gone! It was sweet, full of sultanas, vanilla, christmas cake - really syrupy. Fantastic.
The taste starts out with sweet caramel (which I found to be a fascinating counterpoint to the vanilla notes in the nose) with cinnamon notes, followed by a wave of rich christmas cake, warm butterscotch and a hint of toasted oak. A lot going on, and all of it good!
The finish was long, warm, smooth and rich with a hint of spicy cinnamon and christmas cake.
This was a really fantastic dram. It's a similar sort of malt to the Glenfarclas 15 year old, and while it's not quite as good as the Glenfarclas, it's definitely playing in the same league, and very few malts can say that!