Review: Starward Solera Australian Single Malt Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Starward Solera with the stills in the background. Photo taken by yours truly - a real camera does a bit more than the usual iPhone shot!

Starward Solera with the stills in the background. Photo taken by yours truly - a real camera does a bit more than the usual iPhone shot!

ABV
43%
Aging
Ex-Apera Wine Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Starward Distillery (Melbourne, Australia)

Another Starward ex-wine cask whisky, but in this case the casks are from Apera - fortified Australian wine made in the style of Sherry (Sherry is a protected name, and must originate from Spain). This was Starward’s fist addition to their core range, and it came about in a convenient fashion - David Vitale, Starward’s founder, was able to secure a large number of Apera casks for less than $100 each - now that’s a bargain!

On a separate note, I tasted some second fill ex-Apera Starward casks when I visited the distillery - now those are fantastic!


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

A soft nose, full of dried tropical fruit – papaya, pineapple, mango – but also dried cherry and dried currants. There is a nice bracing of oak underneath, and it has a nice honeyed, waxy character too (so beeswax, I suppose?). Also baking bread, and toasted fennel. It’s very fruit forward. I really like the nose. The palate has a nice grip from the oak, and the finish carries on the dried fruit with light tannin which dries out and intensifies the finish. The finish has a light smoky character, a bit more beeswax, vanilla, and loads of dried fruit.

I really like Nova, but this probably slightly edges out Nova as my favourite of the core Starward lineup.

Highly Recommended (49% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. However, in Australian whisky, this is great value at about $100 (Australian whisky is typically quite expensive).