David Vitale has brought Australian whisky to the UK, using his Melbourne roots and their famed ‘four seasons in a day’ temperature swings. Introducing to you all, Starward.
2007 saw David create the idea of a ‘approachable, affordable Australian whisky – served neat or as a cocktail with food’. Using locally grown brewer’s barley, yeast and water are added to brew and ferment, before distilling using a traditional double distillation process within copper pot stills.
Once drawn off, the spirit enters Australian red wine barrels, the wood still saturated with wine, for the full duration of the maturation period. During this period, Melbourne’s “four seasons in a day” climate means the wood of the barrels expands and contracts more frequently than those say in Scotland or America, resulting in bolder flavours in a shorter space of time. And, unlike Scottish whisky, whilst their whisky matures the alcohol content goes up, not down, something they name the Elemental Maturation.
Two expressions are currently available, seen below, with my tasting notes to accompany –
Starward Solera – 43%
Aged in barrels of around 40-50 years old, formerly containing Apera, which is an Australian take on Spanish sherry.
Rich, ripe stoned fruits of apricot, cherry and hints of strawberry upon the nose. A tart, sharp experience of orange zest, citrus and honeycomb, followed by a long, bold finish of raisin, dried apricot and grape soaked oak.
Starward Wine Cask – 41%
Aged in steamed Australian red wine barrels. Subtle aromas of malt, red grape and dark cocoa upon the nose, followed onto the palate with riper plum, cherry and cinnamon stick flavours. A lingering profile of raspberry and citrus for the finish.
Two fantastic Australian whiskies, and great to see they are versatile to enjoy too –
Whisky Grapefruit Collins
45 ml Starward Solera
15 ml Aperol
15 ml Lime Juice
20 ml Grapefruit
10 g Sugar
Shake all ingredients, strain into a tall Collins glass, top up with soda and garnish with mint and lemon.
Two great expressions to enjoy from the land of Oz, with the country really striving for recognition within the whisky world; Stalwart becoming one of the leaders from Down Under. Worth of a place in your drinks cabinet.
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