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The Lark Distillery does single barrel bottlings, so every bottling is slightly different. They use a wide variety of different casks, but this particular bottling - the LD96 - was matured in 100 litre french oak port barrels (in fact all the bottlings I tried turned out to be french oak port barrels).
The nose has the same vanilla and citrus notes of the LD74, but also has a significant undercurrent of malt, which actually makes the nose a little more refreshing.
The taste is initially rich and smooth, but develops spiciness, which makes it more zesty. Vanilla sweetness, but a stronger citrus note than the LD74. More refreshing, with the extra citrus and spice adding a nice sharpness to differentiate it from the LD74.
The finish starts sharp and spicy, fading over a minute or two into a gentle vanilla sweetness. A genuinely good malt.
Between the LD96 and the LD74, it's almost a toss-up. While they have very similar characteristics, they have two significantly different characters. Where the LD74 is rich like a good christmas cake, this is sharp, spicy and refreshing. If I had to pick, I would go with the LD74, but I might change my mind depending on how warm the day was.