MODERN AUSTRALIAN WHISKY
David Vitale, our founder, started off with a simple vision; create a uniquely Australian whisky we can offer the world with pride. Born and bred in Melbourne, he was inspired to create a spirit that reflects his home town – from its culture to it’s famed ‘four seasons in a day’ temperature swings. It is a city surrounded by some of Australia’s leading wine regions – all within a day’s drive – and is regarded as the microbrewing capital of Australia.
It seems obvious now that all the ingredients for a modern Australian whisky were close by. But, in 2007, when he first started, the idea of an approachable, affordable Australian whisky - served neat or as a cocktail with food - was a big leap of faith. While Australia had a well-established small-scale ultra-premium whisky scene, David pioneered an affordable, approachable and distinctly Australian whisky.
The result is STARWARD. A modern Australian whisky, elementally matured for three “Melbourne years” in Australian wine barrels, that pushes the boundaries of what whisky can be.
EVERYTHING STARTS WITH FLAVOUR
The heart of our spirit is our locally grown brewer’s barley. Just like a craft brewer works with varieties of malt and yeast cultures, we work with brewer’s barley and yeast to create a luscious mouthfeel and signature flavour.
After brewing and fermentation, we distil using a traditional double distillation process in copper pot stills. This punchy spirit comes off the stills as a clear yet flavoursome distillate – like a barley schnapps – ready to draw a rich ruby red colour and distinctly Australian flavour from our locally sourced red wine barrels.
AUSTRALIAN WHISKY, AUSTRALIAN WINE BARRELS
Australian wine makers have for decades championed innovation. Today, around the world, our wines are regarded as credible alternatives to traditional European staples. Their audacity, to take on the “old-world” establishment, was all the inspiration we needed to use Australian wine barrels.
This came with some interesting challenges. If we re-charred our barrels – as is the norm in Scotland and America - we would lose those delicate wine flavours and textures. But filling barrels direct from the winery with clear new make spirit was not something commonly done. There are plenty of wine “finishes” – for a few months, but not a lot of wine “starts”. Working closely with our network of wine makers we are able to fill these barrels still saturated with wine for the entire maturation period. No re-coopering, no re-charring.
Drawing on the vibrancy of big bold reds like Shiraz and Cabernet, as well as delicate notes in Pinot and Rosé, STARWARD delivers on our promise of a uniquely Australian whisky.
As our bold, rich and bright wine casks mature in the city's “four seasons in a day” climate, our whisky expands and contracts more frequently than those in other more traditional whisky making countries. And, unlike Scotch whisky, as our whisky matures the alcohol content goes up, not down. We call this Elemental Maturation.
While a lot of whisky is laid away to rest for years, our barrels are working every day. STARWARD is a young whisky that challenges people’s ideas of maturity and quality.