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Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

‘No Brainer’: Four Pillars Teams Up with Lark for Super-Limited Whisky Barrel Gin


Two icons of the Australian distilling industry have teamed up for a one-off ultra-limited release. Healesville gin master Four Pillars has joined forces with Tasmanian whisky legend Lark Distilling Co. to unveil a brand-first Whisky Barrel Gin, limited to just 2,000 bottles worldwide. Launching on Tuesday 23 April, the latest Four Pillars drop is set to mark the first in a series of limited-edition releases using some of the world’s finest whisky barrels.

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied
Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

Combining the award-winning practices of Four PIllars with the esteemed craftsmanship of Lark, the new Whisky Barrel Gin is a project that arrives five years in the making. As Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie tells me, experimentation has been a hallmark of the brand since its inception in 2013. However, when he stumbled across a small number of exceptional barrels, he knew that they deserved to be set aside for something special.

Four years previously, Mackenzie had laid down a selection of his best high-proof Rare Dry Gin in a solera of Sherry and Apera barrel. The liquid had aged gracefully, taking on the barrel’s rich complexities, but Mackenzie, a recent inductee in the Australian Distillers Hall of Fame, was looking for something more. Turning to long-time friends Bill and Lyn Lark, alongside current Lark head distiller Chris Thomson, he proposed a collaboration. The whisky makers were immediately on board, shipping over barrels from the legendary Tasmanian distillery for Mackenzie to weave his magic on.

“We’ve been friends with Bill and Lyn Lark since the start of our gin-making time,” Mackenzie says. “They were some of the first people we told about the idea for Four Pillars, and their master distiller, Chris Thomson, is a mate who is a great sounding board. So we’ve always spoken about doing something together and now the time has finally come.”

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied
Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

As Mackenzie tells me, the high-proof Rare Dry Gin, which had been ageing in the Sherry and Apera barrels for about four years, was transferred into the LARK whisky barrels at the beginning of 2023. From here, the liquid rested for a further six or so months to finish its maturation before all the barrels were blended together. The final gin is a heady mix of dark spices along with preserved citrus and some nice malty notes.

“Joining forces with LARK was a no brainer for us. Lark has been a leader in Australian distilling for 30 years and we’ve always admired their work,” Mackenzie sys. “Not only are they legends to work with, but their whisky is some of the best in the world, so to get our hands on some of their barrels is truly fantastic.”

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied
Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

Rich whisky notes weren’t the only thing Mackenzie picked up from the Tassie spirit’s products. The Four Pillars co-founder also opted to bottle the Whisky Barrel Gin at cask strength. As he explains, the 58.6% ABV bottling lets you taste the spirit exactly how it came from the barrel, appreciating every step of the gin’s unique journey.

“Opting to bottle the gin at cask strength was intentional,” he tells me. “It showcases the full flavour and gives drinkers the option to try the gin exactly how it came from the barrel or to dilute it over ice or with a splash of water.”

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied
Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

The experimentation has certainly paid off, with the Four Pillars Whisky Barrel Gin nabbing a ‘Master accolade’ at the World Gin Masters 2023 awards in its first-ever outing. According to the judges, the remarkable gin shows “rich Sherry, coffee cake and walnuts” and “soft vanilla notes”.

The Whisky Barrel Gin crafted in collaboration with LARK Distilling Co., is the first in a new gin series and builds on Four Pillars’ previous barrel-aged releases. It will be available to purchase from Heinemann Australia and Lotte in Australia and Singapore for AUD$128, with a small number of bottles also available online and at the Gin Shops at the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Four Pillars Surry Hills Laboratory for AUD$175.

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied
Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin | Image: Supplied

Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co Whisky Barrel Gin

  • Brand: Four Pillars x Lark Distilling Co.
  • Release: Whisky Barrel Gin
  • Release Date: 23 April 2024
  • ABV: 58.6%
  • Price: AUD$175