Whisky Connosr

New World Whisky Distillery Starward Single Malt

An Australian Release!

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

10th Apr 2013


New World Whisky Distillery Starward Single Malt
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: New World Whisky Distillery
  • ABV: 43%

Recently a bottle shop that specializes in fine whisky here in Perth posted about a special tasting that was to occur, that in fact occurred last night.

This tasting was going to be 11 whiskies big, featuring 5 whiskies from Bruichladdich, 5 whiskies from Buffalo Trace and a new whisky, coming from a brand new Australian distillery that was releasing it's first bottling.

This would be New World Whisky Distillery, and the release was the Starward Single Malt.

Now I'd been hearing rumors for weeks, if not months now about this little distillery and this little whisky, about how good it was, how this whisky and this distillery just might change the way that distilleries in Australia operated.

Amusing enough I'd been talking to a beer blogger friend and customer of mine who doesn't care for whisky and she was telling me about this little distillery as one of the distillers used to be a brewer from one of her favorite breweries and how she'd just tried this whisky and it was hands down the best Australian whisky that she'd ever tried.

She couldn't remember the name, but after a few seconds I was able to guess and have it confirmed that she was indeed talking about the Starward.

She was amazed and amused when I informed her that I'd get a chance to try it this very night.

As soon as I get off work I grab a taxi and head straight for the tasting venue and get ready to enjoy my reward for a very long hard day.

I join my brother in law and a fellow whisky geek and Connosr friend, WhiskyBaz and there at our places is a series of 9 different whiskies, several empty whisky spots and there, sitting in the dead center of the tasting map, The Starward.

All of us immediately grab that glass and give it a nose.

Enjoyable and delicious! And even more fun an interesting blend of bourbon nose and sherry nose, but back to the tasting!

My beer blogger's distiller friend is introduced to the crowd and starts talking to us about this interesting new little whisky.

He talks abit about how the whisky is aged, barley strains, yeast strains, heaps of good information. He explains about how the majority of Australian whiskies that are produced are very small batch, single barrels, and that while being great whiskies, due to the scale of production and costs, tend to be very expensive and as most all single barrel/small batch expressions, prone to a batch variations between releases. On top of all of these issues that affect a sizable part of the Australian whisky community he mentions the problems with trying to put your hands on the whiskies themselves, the difficulty of trying to find some whiskies in some states and good luck trying to find oh so many Australian whiskies overseas.

He explains to us how he hopes that New World Whisky Distillery hopes to help change that by producing more affordable whiskies with less batch variations, and hopefully a whisky that can be found Australia wide.

Sounds good to me!

He then explains how Melbourne weather is pretty extreme, four seasons in one day, how it forces the whisky to work harder and speeds up the aging process, for those in the crowd who are swayed by age statements and then he informs us of the average age of the Starward single malt.

2.5 to 2.75 years.

Holy cow!

Time for a nose and we'll see what we'll see.

Some bourbonish notes along with a hint of the sherry cask on the nose, very sweet with oodles of vanilla, toffee, toasted oak, caramel, bananas, pineapples, pears, raisins, and some slight citrus.

Heaps of fruits on the nose and like I said OODLES of vanilla. It's a youthful nose, but lots of fun.

Time for a taste!

Toasty oak, lots of it, burnt caramel, pepper, slight honey, vanilla, raisins, pears. Yummy!

A decent dry, slightly peppery, toasty oak finish ends the whisky, but faint fruit, pears again, lingers faintly in the background, inviting me to take another drink.

A very enjoyable whisky, one that reminds both my brother in law and myself of some of the entry level Speyside and Highland malt single malts. Glenmorangie is mentioned several times.

If you'd have told me this whisky was less then 3 years old I probably would have called you a liar. It feels much older then it really is and it makes me really eager to try an older expression out of this distillery, maybe a 4 or 5 year old, I think a 10 year old would be WAY too old considering how quickly the whisky matures.

And the best part for me is the price. Most Australian whiskies are too expensive to enjoy on a regular basis. When you're paying $150 to $400 a bottle you will oftentimes have a 3rd or even 4th thought about cracking open the bottle when you get home from work, but at $80 a bottle this is a whisky I wouldn't hesitate to crack open after a long day at work. If you get a chance to try this whisky, it's definitely worth a shot!


Chookster commented

Good stuff! I think I can get this for $85 + shipping so it looks well and truly worth the price.

11 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Indeed it is! It makes me very eager to see what they do in the future. The distiller was talking about the different variety of barrels for finishing that they have to draw upon which makes me excited, but sadly informed me that they have no intention of doing any peated whiskies. Still it'll be fun to see where they go with some older expressions, higher strengths, cask finishing, etc :D

11 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Great stuff for such a young age, feels much older like maybe a 10 year old Scotch equivalent. I would definitely drink this again.

I didn't get all those fruits but I got lots of sweetness on the nose and palate. I took some brief notes as I tasted and wrote "a grassy / minerally note - hard to describe" so there was something on the palate that confused me a little. I gave it an off-the-cuff mark of 80/100 meaning that I didn't feel it was an 85 so somewhere in the low 80's so it seems we're agreed there.

A perfectly reasonsable sipping whisky at a reasonable price for an Aussie malt.. finally!

Spoke to the production manager who manned the Starward stall last night, I asked about intentions of CS releases, single casks and the like and the response was basically that they're not thinking of doing that any time soon as they're concentrating on getting this standard 43% release out there and established. Fair enough. BUT the "heads up" was to buy a bottle, use the code attached and join their members club to be informed of "special" bottlings that won't be publicly available. I will definitely be doing that.

Something else they're doing is using plastic corks for the bottles too! Nothing wrong with that. Went home with a couple of their 20cl sample bottles (empty) which I'll add to my decanting bottles collection - they were going in the bin at the end of the night so I rescued them.

Onwards and Starwards!

11 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Exactly Systemdown, all that good stuff is in the future, but one of the points that the distiller was driving home was that they wanted this to be a reasonably price whisky that could be purchased elsewhere in the world for a reasonable price. We were discussing some of the other distilleries and such, and for the record there was no bad mouthing going on, but it was generally felt that why would I purchase a cask strength whisky from most of Aussie distilleries, some of which I love, for $400 or so dollars (and remember some of the distilleries actually have a cut off strength of 60% and wont go any higher due to taxes) when I can buy a Stagg, Handy, Octormore, etc for 2/3 or half the price.

As much as I love the Aussie whiskies, and I really do looking at my collection on the shelf, too many of the distilleries due to costs and taxes are sadly pricing themselves out of the market and it's the biggest problem in the industry I think. However give them a couple years and I think we're going to see some awesome things coming out of New World Whisky Distillery!

11 years ago 0