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Starward Two-fold Double Grain Blended Australian Whisky (700ml)

Victoria, AUSTRALIA
$69. 99 Bottle
$839.88 Dozen
ABV: 40%
The first general release from Starward in years. Like some previous editions, this was matured in Australian red wine barrels (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir). The difference here is ‘Two-fold’ incorporates a 35% wheat component with the barley. The lighter, softer wheat spirit allows a little more of the barrel character to shine through. 6000 bottles are initially on offer (with a large volume destined for the US) - that's double the number of bottles of the inaugural Solera single malt Starward. The distillery's own allocation appears to have sold out online, and Proprietor David Vitale is already starting to wonder whether he's made enough... The hope is this will last through till Christmas!

Tasting note: Brilliant copper. Reminiscent of the standard issue Starward, only softer and slightly sweeter with notes of banana cake, toffee, vanilla-wafer biscuit and light cocoa. The sweetness is tempered by spices and delicate tannins in the mouth, with hints of dried banana, vanilla and a touch of creamy soda to finish, the distillery's characteristic notes retained. Eminently drinkable, this rolls out like a good Canadian blend. 40% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... The temptation, when tasting a spirit for the first time, is to scrabble through your flavour memory banks looking for comparisons with spirits you've tasted in the past. With this new whisky, that proved to be a fruitless exercise because it really doesn't taste quite like any other I've tried before. It ticks the general whisky boxes of flavour and style expectation without evoking bourbon or scotch. And while it has unmistakably grain-based spirit characters on the nose and the palate, there are some quite distinctive, unexpected characters in there too: aromas of fresh toast, some dried fig, a hint of ripe banana, then a soft, pretty, creamy vanilla texture on the tongue, finishing with a little tannic grip and savoury complexity. As I say, a very good whisky, especially at this price.
- Max Allen, The Financial Review