The 'secret sauce' that makes Starward so delicious? Wine barrels and weather.
Australian winemakers had the audacity to take on the old world of wine. So why couldn't we do the same with whisky?
Whiskies had used wine barrels as a starter or a finisher before. But no-one had clocked the packs-a-punch flavour you can extract from full wine barrel maturation. Since whisky extracts maximum flavour and aroma during maturation, we felt it was time to go big, or go home.
We carefully select wine barrels that are soaked in flavour. Think bold, full-bodied Aussie reds like shiraz and cabernet for Two-Fold and Nova. Or rich fortified wine Apera for our Solera.
We fill our Starward at a lower alcohol proof than is traditional, just so our whisky would extract even more juicy character.
Then, Melbourne's weird and wonderful weather takes over. Blasts of arctic breeze from the south and harsh desert winds from the north have given our city a reputation for experiencing 'four seasons in a day'. And while it's frustrating not knowing whether to pack an umbrella, sun hat or both, the weather does incredible things to our whisky.
Fluctuating temperatures mean our whisky interacts with the barrel at a much more rapid rate than it would in Scotland. It's also a lot drier here, which increases our whisky's ABV instead of decreasing it. This means the weather would ruin our drop if left for much longer (trust us, we tried).