We’ve got an exciting New Arrival of the Week from one of our favourite Australian distilleries. A single malt with a fiery redhead twist: it’s Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7. And for two weeks, it’s a Master of Malt exclusive.
More ginger than the love child of Damian Lewis and Patsy Palmer* eating a piece of Jamaica cake. In Scotland. With an orangutan. Yes, it’s the seventh iteration of Starward Ginger Beer Cask. The starting point is Staward’s delicious single malt whisky which is aged in casks that contained apera, a sherry-like wine from Australia.
But the twist is that it then spends 12 months in casks that previously held the distillery’s own ginger beer. The previous version, #6, only got six months in cask so this has twice the ginge factor. Hence the Palmer/ Lewis/ Jamaica cake analogy.
It’s the latest limited edition from one of our favourite distilleries, Melbourne’s very own Starward, and it’s an exclusive to Master of Malt for the next two weeks. So you can get it only from us.
For those who don’t know about Starward, all we can say is, where have you been? Even my old dad knows about Starward and he has only just discovered that they make whisky outside Scotland. But in case you don’t, here’s a recap: Starward was founded in Melbourne in 2007 with the aim of making a distinctly Australian style of whisky. The team come from a mixture of wine and beer backgrounds so bring some interesting ideas to distillation. From the beer side, they use an Australian barley malted to a brewing specification and fermented with a brewer’s yeast. Both of these accentuate flavour rather than quick accumulation of alcohol.
Following a double pot still distillation, they then make use of some of the wonderful old wine casks available to them in Australia such as shiraz, pinot noir, and apera. These might be of made American, French, or East European oak. Founder David Vitale described the result as a “whisky that’s more Australian than Scotch is Scottish.”
We loved the first releases when they arrived in Britain in 2017. Since then the distillery has gone on to make some great whiskies including the stalwart red wine cask Nova, a blend called Two-Fold, and some unusual limited editions. With the might of Diageo money behind them through Distell Ventures, they’ve been able to significantly increase production and expand distribution without losing what makes them so good, that restless sense of fun and experimentation.
Just like this new ginger beer cask whisky. There’s a full tasting note below, but we loved the way the spicy ginger melds with the classic toffee, orange, and chocolate Starward profile. It’s a great mixer especially if you’re playing around with other gingery flavours. It would be superb with ginger beer in a Horse’s Neck, shine with ginger wine in a Whisky Mac, or make a suitably wintery Old Fashioned sweetened with just a dash of King’s Ginger. You could even add some ginger bitters. Or would that be too gingery?
Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7 is available from Master of Malt.
Tasting notes from Starward
Nose: Ginger, orange and dark chocolate
Palate: Strong spicy ginger, orange and fresh pineapple
Finish: Big warming mouthfeel with candied ginger, citrus and sweet Apera
*Don’t know who she is? Riiiiiicccckkkyyyy! Does that help?