Starward Receives Two Gold Medals At The San Francisco World Spirits Competition

by Daniel Galyean

JULY 22, 2020 (MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA) – Starward Whisky, an Australian whisky known for its unique maturation style in Australian red wine casks, is proud to bring home a number of prestigious accolades from this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Starward Nova Single Malt and Starward Two-Fold Double Grain Whisky each took home a Gold Medal, adding to its expanding shelf of awards, continuing to shine a spotlight on a country to watch as the new world whisky producer.

This marks the second year in a row, and the third time that Starward Nova has taken home a gold medal from this competition. The first was in 2016 for both the “World’s Best Craft Distilled Whisky” and the “Best Australian Single Malt Whisky”. This is Two-Fold’s first Gold Medal at San Francisco, adding to additional honors of being recognized for “Best Australian Blended Whisky” at the World Whiskies Awards in 2020 and 2019. Starward also enjoys the honors of being named “Best Australian Whisky Innovator” from Icons of Whisky and was crowned “Best Australian Single Malt” by the World Whiskies Awards.

A third expression from the distillery, Starward Tawny Single Malt Whisky, also took home a Double Gold medal. Tawny is a limited-edition project that is only available in Australia and is matured in fortified wine barrels, creating a decadent, rich and easy drinking whisky meant for after-dinner enjoyment.

Last month marked one year since the brand’s official U.S. debut with Nova, quickly followed by Two-Fold in the fall. Both expressions have expanded distribution across the country with Redwood Brands, making it the first widely available whisky in the U.S. from down under. Australia boasts more than 120 distilleries, half of which are distilling whisky, but only a small handful making it beyond the continent over to U.S. shores.

David Vitale founded the distillery in 2007 in his hometown of Melbourne. After working as business manager of a prominent Tasmanian distillery for several years, David wanted to make an accessible whisky that was representative of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan character. His passion for food, wine and beer led to Starward’s original purpose of being an easy drinking whisky designed to pair well with food.

“I am so proud and humbled by what Starward has achieved over the past several years,” said David Vitale, Founder of Starward Whisky. “My vision was simple: to make a distinctly Australian whisky we could offer the world with pride. My hope is that we can continue to pave the way for other fellow Australian distilleries to join Starward in the U.S. and help us increase awareness of Australia as a sleeping giant in the whisky world.”

Starward differentiates itself from other whisky distilleries through its unique barrel maturation using casks from local wineries that previously held Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The close proximity of the wineries allows the team to maximize the flavor of the wine permeated into the oak, lending a vibrant red ocher color to the final liquid. The full maturation in red wine barrels creates a light and fruity whisky with a long and spicy finish, similar to some of the country’s award-winning wines.

Starward also utilizes the dynamic temperatures for which Melbourne is famous to accelerate the whisky maturation process in an approach known as Elemental Maturation or more colloquially “a Melbourne year”. The result is a long, distinct and spicy finish that creates a complex single malt from a relatively young whisky.


Starward Nova Tasting Notes

Nose:   Bright red berries, orchard fruits, soft oak spice

Palate:   Vanilla and berries balanced with caramel and spice

Finish:  Long, fruity and slightly tart with hints of baking spices


Starward Two-Fold Tasting Notes

Nose:  Bright red berries coated in buttery vanilla spice

Palate:  Smooth, rich caramel dessert balanced by tropical fruit

Finish:  Delicate and long; a delicious, dry finish from a faded sweetness

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