I've had a soft spot for this Australian whisky from the beginning. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps the most important is the fact that Niek & Ilse came back with a fantastic story from the visit to the then called Victoria Valley distillery that had just started filling the first barrels. They didn't have a product on the market yet. You can read all about it in our book. It was then difficult, but not impossible to get the first bottles to Belgium once the whisky had reached the legal age. And the whisky was very good. Fast forward about five years and Starward has already built up a nice portfolio. And since this year they even have an importer in Belgium. We (Belgians) can all enjoy this stuff now. I taste the Starward Nova, which has been part of their core-range since 2018. You can buy it for a mere 50 EUR. It matured in red wine barrels from Australia.
The nose is sweet on red fruit. All kinds of berries and strawberries, but also overripe cherries. Something of maple syrup and honey, but also candied orange peels, dried figs and raisin bread. Reminds me a bit of Christmas.
On the palate it is at least as sweet, maybe even sweeter, but also immediately nicely spicy. Christmas cake, vanilla custard, berries, raisins, caramel and some spices. Think black pepper and cloves. Gently drying. Yup, Christmas is never far away.
The finish is quite drying, but short. The tannins of the red wine barrel is relatively loud.
I really appreciate this one. A tad one-dimensional, it's true, but a fine dram to enjoy under the Christmas tree.