Wolf of the Willows Lark Imperial JSP V

Whisky Barrel-Aged Imperial Smoked Porter

Given how much we've written about the ongoing partnership between Wolf and Lark as the launch of this beer has approached – you can take a deep dive here – let's cut straight to the chase when it comes to talking about the liquid itself.

At 12.4 percent ABV, it's taken another step up from last year's release, and were you to divide its key characteristics into two columns – the gnarlier elements (drying dark malts, peat smokiness, tannins, bitterness) and the more dessert like ones (fudgy chocolate malts, boozy sweetness, the richer, toffee-esque side of the whisky) – you'd have to say it's the latter that appear to have been given more oomph this time around.

Having sampled whisky IV a few days earlier, it makes sense: that delivers the sort of smooth affair you could happily sip to the point you're in trouble before you have time to realise. So, while there’s an earthiness and some leathery smoke to taste and a peat-derived iodine note to be found within the aroma, I suspect this is the most luscious IJSP yet, bringing unrelenting wave after dense wave of lightly (whisky) spiced dark chocolate fudge cake, Vietnamese iced coffee, burnt sugar and friends of that ilk to the party. There’s a drying, almost quenching side to it too – the inside of your cheeks will tell you that – but, boy, it’s got an uphill battle against that tidal wave of lusciousness.

James Smith

NB If you'd like to win a $500 prize pack featuring two vintages of the beer and whisky plus merch, you've got til August 15 to enter here.

Published August 12, 2022

Wolf of the Willows

39 De Havilland Road
VIC 3195

For orders, please email orders@wolfofthewillows.com.au
Open Hours

Thursday: 4pm to 10pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm Saturday: midday to 10pm
Sunday: midday to 6pm

Gypsy Hub
GABS World Record B

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