In the grand scheme of things, 10 years may not seem like a long time. However in the context of a young Australian upstart which challenged conventional thinking about maturing whiskies, casks and more, all with a goal of creating something accessible and affordable, well…. then it is something to celebrate indeed!
Starward 10th Anniversary 52%
- Colour – A beautiful deep dark ruby
- Nose – Strong black cherry, intense and concentrated, prunes, old dark wood, cherry brandy, peppery – mostly black peppercorn, rich burnt cake, toffee, dark chocolate, burnt orange, cinnamon, dark purple grapes
- Palate – Sugar sweet, tart, had a definite kick, while a bit odd initially and took some time to adjust to its concentrated quality, the wood, dark cherry, berries, figs, toasted oak, creamy vanilla, rummy raisins
- Finish – A lovely black pepper spice that sweetens
Above all, for me this whisky was a heavy rich tapestry of intense flavours.
We decided to add a generous dollop of water to see if it tamed it. What did we discover?
- Nose – Brought out loads of fruits, while retaining the richness
- Palate – Absolutely gorgeous! Turned down the volume on the intensity without diminishing the character or complexity
- Finish – Retained the lovely spice
When we returned, it was distinctly flat coca-cola! Then shifted into a very tasty creme brûlée,
There was no doubt this was quite a whisky. It reminded me of the richness of some Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask or Paul John’s Kanya. What they both have in common is accelerated absorption of the barrel’s interaction with the new make spirit thanks to the respective climates in Australia, Taiwan and India.
So what is the story behind this dram?
Apparently it is a vatted blend of 28 casks of various ages and 8 different types used throughout Starward’s 10 years, of which most are first fill Apera, Pedro Ximenez and red wine barrels.
What would it set you back? If you bought it at the Whisky Exchange, as this one was, then £79.95.
Here are a few other Starward‘s explored:
- Starward Solera from an earlier batch circa 2015 43%
- Starward Solera from recent batch circa 2018 43%
- Starward New World Project Wine Cask 2.25 yr malted barley spirit batch 170721-A (8 Aug 2017) 42%
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