If Bill Lark is the father of Australian whisky, then that makes Jon Lark the uncle.
Until now though, Jon has been focused on carving out his own place in the world of drinks through growing his family of gins, vodkas and liqueurs at his Kangaroo Island distillery.
With Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) extremely successful in its own right – having been named Australian Distillery of the Year 2018 at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition – Jon and wife Sarah have decided to follow in Bill’s footsteps and create the distillery’s first whisky.
This will be no Tasmanian whisky copycat, however. Rather it will be a spirit that encapsulates the unique environment, natural resources and quality produce found on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.
“Kangaroo Island is a very different island,” says Jon. “And we can’t wait to see how its unique environs will be reflected in the whisky we produce here. We have always looked to using local resources as far as possible, so we are really excited that the barley we’ll be using in the wash has been grown right here.”
Kangaroo Island Pure Grain grows this Westminster barley, before it is used in Coopers Brewery’s single-grain malt to brew Coopers Vintage Ale. Coopers will be supplying this high-quality malt to KIS to create the new whisky.
The spirit will then be aged in local port barrels sourced from Bay of Shoals winery, resulting in a whisky that is 100 per cent South Australian.
The first release of the spirit is expected to launch by the end of 2020.