I'm a fan of Starward, that's known. And when I got the chance to buy a barrel a few weeks ago, I didn't let it pass me by. I am very grateful to Jeroen from the well-known online whisky shop The Bonding Dram that he thought of me to step in as a partner. Very excited! You should know that Starward used a first fill Apera barrel from McWilliams for this single malt. McWilliams has been producing Apera, the Australian version of sherry, made from the Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca grape varieties for years. The barrel – number #1855 – was filled in May 2016 and when bottled yielded only 222 bottles at a cask strength of 59.3%. Fun fact: when we tasted a sample taken on October 12, 2021, the strength was 57.1%. Yes, in Australia the strength increases!
Starward's DNA is unmistakable and is greatly complemented by a very active Apera cask. Think cherries, dry wood and herbal notes, counterfooted by raisins, pineapple on the barbecue and some dried banana. Something of cake on Sunday morning. Buttered toast. Hint of milk chocolate with almonds. Raisin bread. This makes me happy.
Very oily, almost viscous. Pure indulgence in the mouth. The fruit slowly but surely evolves from the dried to the tropical variety, flanked by a heartwarming spiciness of the oak. And no, it requires absolutely no water, despite the high alcohol percentage. Talk about perfect integration. Midpalate are mainly overripe cherries and raisins that capture your attention.
The finish is long, spicy, tropical and sweet at the same time.
Oh, my, this is divinely delicious. The choice was therefore quickly made. Only the wait took far too long, but well – it had to come from far away. Jeroen and I only have 222 bottles, but one of them can be yours for only 95 EUR. You are welcome.