(Forward). Six weeks ago now I did something I never though I would. A complete online spirits tasting with a supplier. From Gin, through Mezcal and finally to Whisky we did them all and boy was there one above all else that stood out.
Introducing... Starward Whisky.
The melodic note of the stopper and glugluglug of the pour.
A soothingly smooth sip. Scrumptious, spiced and sweet.
How do you make whisky that's fundamentally different?
Focus on flavour. Question everything but your intuition. Make use of what's around you. And don't take yourself too seriously.
When drinking our whisky, we'd encourage you to do the same. Purists might only sip our whiskies neat. Others might chuck in a slug of tonic and a wedge of grapefruit. Then there's those who'll roll up their sleeves and get that cocktail shaker shaking.
Match your whisky with food. Chocolate, cheese and charcuterie, yes. Also takeaway pizza, spag bol, banana bread and grain salad. Dishes made for sharing. There's no right way as far as we're concerned.
Read enough? Shop Whisky here
Two-Fold was our chance to forget compromise. To make a whisky that was as affordable and approachable as we wanted, we had to tear up the rule book (a renegade act we relished, we'll admit).
It was worth every effort. Sip Two-Fold neat for a whisky that's smooth and full of flavour. Or pair with tonic, and rethink the G&T for good.
Nose / Bright red berries coated in buttery vanilla spice. Palate / Imagine a smooth, rich caramel dessert balanced by tropical fruit. Finish / Delicate and long. A delicious, dry finish from a faded sweetness.
When it comes to whisky-making, we're unapologetically Melburnian. Our aim? To make whisky that's unpretentious and easy to enjoy, however you like. Enter, Two-Fold.
It started with a question. How would our ideal whisky taste? It'd be easy-drinking, versatile and, most importantly, delicious. We chose two quintessential Aussie grains. First, for depth, malted barley. This new make spirit is the exact same as our Nova. Inspired by the craft beer scene, we ferment our barley with brewers' yeast for extra fruity characters.
We balance this with a spirit made from aromatic and dry wheat. Then it's time for each whisky to mature separately in the barrel.
We carefully select barrels from vineyards making great Aussie reds like shiraz, cabernet and pinot noir. These give our new make spirit tasty fruit, caramel and spice notes.
To keep as much of a fresh red wine flavour profile as possible, we source barrels from just a day's drive away. We either lightly char or quickly blast barrels with steam. Many are still wet with wine when we fill them.
Flavour obsessed as ever, we fill each barrel at a lower alcohol proof than is traditional. This means our whisky draws more lip-smacking red wine fruit characters and tannins.
Nova is matured exclusively in red wine barrels from wineries making great Australian shiraz, cabernets and pinot noirs. This whisky reflects Melbourne in every sip. From the vibrant foodie scene to the wild weather to the world-class, cool climate wine.
Nose, Like we took bright flavours of red berries and orchard fruit and coated them in soft oak spice. Palate / Imagine a rich red berry pudding covered in vanilla, caramel and spice. Finish / Balanced and long. The sweetness fades and the delicious flavour goes on.
Nova borrows from tradition but breaks away from it too. This whisky’s distinctly delicious flavour all starts with our new-make spirit.
All Nova’s carefully sourced ingredients come from just a day’s drive away.
We double distill our single malt whisky using Australian malted barley. Borrowing from the craft brewing scene, we ferment our barley with brewers’ yeast for an extra bold flavour. Then we installed custom water jackets on our giant copper stills to better control the distillation. It's tricks like this that mean we can pick the fruity characters we like and keep each batch consistent.
Then come the barrels.
We go local. We source barrels from wineries in the nearby Yarra Valley and Barossa Valley so they keep their fresh red wine flavour profile. Then, they’re lightly charred or steamed. Often, the barrels are still wet with wine when we fill them.
For us, it's all about the flavour. As we fill our barrels at a lower alcohol proof than other single malts, our whisky takes in all the more red wine fruit characters and tannins.
Next, Melbourne’s intensely reactive climate gets to work. A far cry from the sunny Australian stereotype, Melbourne is famed for experiencing ‘four seasons in a day’. Bad news for beachgoers, good news for whisky. Fluctuating weather makes Nova work hard in the barrel, extracting maximum flavour from the wood in just a short time. We call this elemental maturation.
And it’s why we couldn’t make Nova anywhere else.
Two Whisky's to get excited about, I've tried them both and take it form me. They are very good and the link to food matching makes them even more intriguing and versatile. Both are available to buy online now at the link below.