Starward Australian Whisky has built a reputation for innovation and that has continued with the release of its latest limited-edition whisky, a single malt Australian whisky that has been finished for 18 months in barrels from the iconic Lagavulin distillery in Scotland.
Lagavulin is renowned for its distinctive, complex and intensely smoky whiskies and that coastal peat with its hints of iodine and brine comes through in the Starward whisky.
Starward Founder, David Vitale, said: “My earliest inspiration for Starward was to create a deliciously distinctive whisky, and while we certainly hit that brief with our red wine barrel matured whisky, what whisky better epitomises distinctively delicious than Lagavulin?
“Sourcing these barrels to create this exciting expression gives us a magical moment to celebrate the very best of Australian curiosity and Scottish tradition.”
The whisky was made using new-make Starward spirit that was aged in the distillery’s signature red wine barrels, before being transferred into the Lagavulin barrels, which Starward describes as “a delightfully rich Australian Single Malt whisky, showcasing exciting flavours of nectarine and charred pineapple with a touch of coastal peat and a smouldering dry oak finish”.
Some of the Starward team were given the opportunity to travel to Islay and visit the Lagavulin distillery, with Starward’s Production Director Sam Slaney, saying: “Our team was incredibly inspired by the experience in Islay. Their landscape and climate are literally worlds away from what we’re used to in our Port Melbourne distillery.
“You can see how much this impacts the flavours in their distinctive peated whisky. Similar to the impact our rapidly changing climate has on maturation, where the constant change in temperature causes our barrels contract and expand, meaning the whisky soaks up all those delicious flavours from the wood.”
The tasting notes describe a nose offering “yellow nectarine, touch of peat, pineapple, and a hint of iodine”, while the palate is “initially very tropical, char-grilled pineapple, black tea and a touch of brine” and then the finish is “drying ash, but follows through with tropical fruits and a touch of oak”.
The Starward Single Malt Australian Whisky Finished in ex-Lagavulin Barrels is available exclusively via ballot on the Starward website, the team is also partnering with selected venues for exclusive tasting events, again with all details on the Starward website.