Starward Unexpeated Single Malt Australian Whisky – May 2022

The Whisky:-

Unexpeated is a collision of the old world and the new. Our distillers sourced peated, whisky-soaked barrels from Scotland and filled them to the brim with our Australian red wine barrel aged whisky. Coastal peat characters meld with our delicious single malt to create a whisky unlike any that we’ve crafted before. Fully matured in Melbourne without a peat bog in sight, now that’s Unexpeated.

The Distillery:-

Starward is whisky for a curious, food-obsessed generation.

We’re made in Melbourne. Not the outback. Melbourne is the foodie capital of Australia, where we ditch the airs and graces and focus on flavour instead.

That’s why we use red wine barrels to mature our whisky. We source all our whisky ingredients from just a day’s drive away. Then, in the wildly varied Melbourne weather, our whisky draws out its signature fruity, delicious flavour in just three short years. We call this elemental maturation and it’s why we couldn’t make our whisky anywhere else.

Our working distillery is in Melbourne’s city centre and was named Icons of Whisky Australia Visitor Attraction of the year, 2019. It’s home to some of the hardest working barrels in the world, with our full wine barrel maturation for 3 “Melbourne Years” – thanks to Melbourne’s highly reactive climate.

The weather does incredible things to our whisky, as the fluctuating temperatures means our whisky interacts with the barrel at a much more rapid rate than it would in Scotland. It’s also a lot drier here, which increases our whisky’s ABV instead of decreasing it. This means the weather would ruin our drop if left for much longer (trust us, we tried).

We carefully select wine barrels that are soaked in flavour. Think bold, full-bodied Aussie reds like shiraz and cabernet for Left-Field and Nova, or rich fortified Apera for our Solera. the barrels are sourced from nearby wineries for a minimal intervention approach, mainly from the Yarra & Barossa regions.

As it’s a quick turnaround between barrels being disgorged then filled with our whisky, barrels only need a quick cleansing blast of steam or light char before being filled with spirit.

For our base spirit itself, we chose Australian malted barley, fermented with brewers’ yeast because of the tropical fruit character it gives to our whisky, which we distill using our two copper pot stills. We source every ingredient from just a day’s drive away, and by working closely with growers, winemakers, farmers, traders and maltsters we keep an eye on new varieties to make sure Starward produce is the best quality produce possible.

It seems obvious now that all the ingredients for a modern Australian whisky were close by. But, in 2007, when we first started, the idea of an approachable, affordable Australian whisky – served neat or as a cocktail with food – was a big leap of faith. Australian winemakers had the audacity to take on the old world of wine. So why couldn’t we do the same with whisky?

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LocationMelbourne, Australia
Age3 Years & 9 Months
Casks UsedRed wine casks & Islay peated casks