Traditionally, if you were to meet a whisky aficionado out on the town, there’s no doubt that the drop of choice would have hailed from either Scotland or Ireland – purveyors of the centuries-old spirit.
But since 2007, there’s been a quiet achiever distilling what is now one of Australia’s most celebrated whiskies: Starward.
Over the weekend, Starward celebrated World Whisky Day in true style, welcoming guests from around the country to its onsite distillery in Port Melbourne where a plethora of events, stalls and activations were held; all in the name of whisky!
World Whisky Day
On arrival, guests were greeted by the talented folk behind the Starward Bar that were serving up a variety of exciting boilermakers and special drinks as a welcome, perfect for those those starting out on their whisky journey to the whisky connoisseur, and everyone in between.
Starward showcased its signature whiskies – whiskies matured in Australian red wine barrels, Starward’s point of difference – for all food and drink lovers alike to enjoy, as well as offering the chance to sample a range of international whiskies from Ireland, Scotland, Japan, America and India.
There were also a selection of innovative limited releases available for purchase for the first few attendees.
Starward held private tours of its operations, led by knowledgeable staff who delved into the history of this young Aussie label, as well as shining a light on how exactly Starward whisky is made. Founder and owner David Vitale’s story of creating an economical viable, affordable and applicable Aussie whisky is truly fascinating.
Australian Whisky, Australian Wine Barrels
As aforementioned, what differentiates Starward from other whisky labels is the way its whisky is matured.
In Australia, we are fortunate to be graced with world-class wine from world-class winemakers who have championed innovation for decades.
Utilising these amazing resources, Starward decided against re-charred wine barrels – as is the norm in Scotland and America – as this would lose the delicate wine flavours and textures. Instead, Starward fill its barrels direct from the winery with clear new-make spirit for the entire maturation period; no re-coopering, no re-charring.
In celebration of World Whisky Day, Starward released an all-new cocktail inspired by the signature Starward whisky red wine barrel characteristics.
Red Manhattan is a distillery-batched cocktail made with Starward single grain whisky matured in Australian red wine barrels with a bespoke red wine vermouth infused with native botanicals from Adelaide Hills Distillery, and bitters.
The limited-edition Red Manhattan – in collaboration with Adelaide Hills Distillery – is a modern take on the classic American cocktail reimagined with an Australian twist.
On the taste, Red Manhattan is bright, balanced and herbaceous with a medium finish.
For more information of Starward and its whisky collection, visit the website here