When Starward, a new Australian whisky from New World Whisky Distillery, hit the market, those in the know and connoisseurs noticed that there was something distinctly different about this dram. At a time when Australian whisky had skyrocketed in price and troughed in availability, thanks largely to Tasmanian distillery Sullivans Cove winning a string of highly sought-after awards, essentially putting us on the map as a distilling nation, Starward set out to produce something different.
“I started Starward with a simple vision; offer the world a distinctly Australian whisky unshackled from tradition,” says founder David Vitale.
“We mature our whisky in red wine barrels to create a bridge for wine drinkers to discover whisky in an approachable and accessible way. We felt it was important for us to create a flavour-full but easy-drinking and approachable whisky that talks to the place it is made, like very few whiskies can.”
While other Aussie distilleries were forced to increase their prices due to stock constraints, Starward decidedly kept their’s for under a hundred bucks a bottle, and made sure they had the inventory to maintain supply once they got busier. Before Starward, nobody had managed to create an “every day” Australian whisky which wasn’t put up on the top shelf.
“We all have a ‘special occasion’ whisky cabinet which is over-flowing with options, but the sharing cabinet is curated. We believe we have an opportunity to elbow out some space and create an alternative to the great whiskies from around the world with an Australian whisky, matured in
Australian wine barrels,” continued Vitale.
Speaking to an intimate event in Melbourne last week, the celebrated distiller was proud to talk about the roots of his brand, though had gathered a small crowd of media and industry to his Port Melbourne facility for more than just a history lesson–we were he to witness a new product.
Dubbed “Starward Two-Fold”, the latest expression from the New World Whisky Distillery introduces an element of Australian wheat into the liquid, creating a new blend which enhances the subtle red wine notes of Starward’s unique ageing process (the majority of their spirit is laid down in barrels which have not been charred). Lighter in style than their pure malted barley expressions, Two-Fold is a whisky that belongs in cocktails, and served with food. Vitale proudly elaborates: “These characteristics make Two-Fold a great whisky to craft uncomplicated cocktails for the dinner table.
“Coming from one of the foodie capitals of the world, we felt it was important to showcase what Melbourne has to offer at the dinner table with a whisky that was made for that occasion as well as the traditional neat serve.”
In addition to the new expression, Starward has rebranded its award-winning Wine Cask as “Nova”. Speaking about the new moniker, which also sees a facelift for the bottle, David said: “We think it’s fitting for the leading Australian whisky, that has received international accolades
including Best Craft Distilled Whisky in the world, to have a name that calls out its status as a beacon of Australian whisky – Nova means bright star.”
Keeping with the notion that Australian whisky should be accessible, Starward Two-Fold has been released with the diminutive RRP of AUD$65; a huge step down from their already-affordable offerings, and is now available in Dan Murphy’s, as well as other reputable stores (and soon, hopefully, the rest of the world).