Are you already familiar with Australian whisky? Well, actually, I am not. But that’s why it’s all the more fun to discover it, isn’t it? So let’s start off with a review of this Starward Nova and I’ll also tell you a little bit about this Melbourne based distillery. So no, this distillery is not located in the outback, as might have been more obvious, but in the busy city centre of this lovely metropolis.

The distillery, which has been operating for several years now, focuses mainly on flavour. And when they started in 2007, the goal was to create an accessible and affordable whisky that could be served neat as well as a cocktail with food. Which is not surprising, given Melbourne’s reputation as the culinary capital of Australia. The city has a very lively and diverse food and wine industry and that is reflected in the countless bars, restaurants, cafes and food halls that Melbourne has. And Starward Distillery fits right in.

To produce Starward whisky, all ingredients are sourced locally (as in local according to Australian standards, namely no more than a day’s drive😉). For example, they use Australian barley and all whisky is matured (not finished!) in red wine casks sourced from local wineries in the nearby Yarra Valley and Barossa Valley.

Maturing in red wine casks naturally adds a lot of flavours in their whisky, which is exactly what they are looking for. But in addition, these casks are also filled at a lower alcohol percentage than usual. According to the distillery, this should ensure that the whisky takes in all the more red wine fruit characters and tannins. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

This Starward Nova has matured in Australian shiraz, cabernet and pinot noir casks for 3 years and is bottled at 41% ABV.

Starward Nova tasting notes:

Nose: quite some wine influence indeed. Sweet and fruity. Which mainly going towards an abundance of different berries; blueberries, red berries and raspberries. A pinch of honey. And then some red apples.

Taste: rather sweet. Blueberries and raspberries again. Caramel. A little bit of honey. Cherries. And later also some vanilla. A touch of oak. In the end, I also get some spices, black pepper and cloves.

Finish: short and a little dry, with honey and a pinch of pepper and somewhat oaky.

Ok, I have to admit I found this whisky a bit flat at first. But after tasting it a few more times, this did change. A rather sweet and fruity dram, but the spices provide the right balance. I think they made exactly what they wanted, lots of flavours, but above all an easy and drinkable whisky.

Bottle provided by Salud Distribution.