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Starward Fortis Single Malt Australian Whisky (700ml)

Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
$125. 00 Bottle
$1500.00 Dozen
ABV: 50%
Tasting note: [Batch 2] 'Fortis' is Starward's new high strength offering, matured in American oak casks that previously contained Barossa Shiraz and Cabernet. Some barrels are charred for added complexity, but most are fresh in order to capture winey flavours from the barrel staves. Deep topaz in colour with a nose that highlights Starward's fruity malt: dried banana and banoffee pie up front, giving way to ripe red apples. In the mouth, there's a resemblance to young Bourbon. Gobstopper, dried banana and toffee apple roll into a spicy, mouth filling finish. The red wine input feels minimal. Non chill filtered. 50% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... I tasted this next to a couple of flagship Australian tawny matured malts, and in the Australian context, I'm not sure it quite stands up to its 'strong' moniker (different story internationally, though). Personally, I like it more because of that: Australian whisky doesn't have to be massive to be high quality. I think there's just enough wine and grip here, but it never turns to overt winey/woodiness - really well blended. In fact, it's more Scottish than a lot of other Australian malts in that sense: a more fruit and spirit-forward 'strong' whisky, which, I assume, is the idea. Also dangerously quaffable for 50% ABV - shows you I've probably been drinking too much Australian whisky lately.
88 points - Luke McCarthy, ozwhiskyreview.com.au