Australia deserves its reputation for fabulous wines and – yes – whisky! So why not combine? While Tasmania dominates, Starward prove you can be in Melbourne and deliver something worthy of attention with distinction – by consistently maturing their whisky in wine barrels.
And while we’ve explored their Apera (sherry style) Solera, a spirited experiment under 3 years (New World Project), even their 10th Anniversary special…. somehow missed trying this Nova expression from their core range! Time to rectify that gap in our collective whisky explorations…
Starward Nova 41%
- Nose – Plum, red cherries, black and red raspberries, strawberries, red liquorice, grapes, red wine, sweet yet also tangy, dried mango powder (aamchor), sweet basil
- Palate – Light tannins, soft, bitter, great round fruits, had a nice fruity ‘fullness’
- Finish – Moist mouth-watering finish, cherry cough syrup
Perhaps it was just us, however we could really find the red wine element in the equation – something bold and full bodied like a shiraz or a cab? And while only 41%, this whisky had full flavours in abundance. A most enjoyable way to close our evening, watching the sunset over green rolling pastures in Somerset.
What do the folks at Starward have to say about their Nova?
- Beginning / A fruity, double distilled single malt made with Australian barley and craft brewers’ yeast for extra flavour.
- Middle / Lightly charred or steamed barrels sourced from Australian wineries making great shiraz, cabernets and pinot noirs. Often filled fresh when the barrel is still wet with wine. Matured in Melbourne’s wildly varied climate for three years.
- End / Exceptional length thanks to the red wine barrels. Bright aromatic notes of red berries, orchard fruits, vanilla, caramel and soft oak spice.
- Future / Smooth and complex when sipped neat. Shines in classic cocktails. Works exceptionally well with food.
And their tasting notes:
- Nose / Like we took bright flavours of red berries and orchard fruit and coated them in soft oak spice
- Palate / Imagine a rich red berry pudding covered in vanilla, caramel and spice.
- Finish / Balanced and long. The sweetness fades and the delicious flavour goes on.
What did we try in our 2nd Dunkerton evening?
- Japan – Nikka Days 40%
- England – Lakes Distillery Steel Bonnets 46.6%
- Scotland – Fettercairn 10 year 40%
And here are a few earlier explorations of Starward:
- Starward New World Whisky 43% (~2016)
- New World Project Wine Cask 2.25 year (8 Aug 2017) malted barley spirit batch 170721-A 42%
- Solera (2018) 43%
- 10th Anniversary 52%
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