This is the May 2022 release from Whisky Pioneer, whisky sample subscription service.
AGE – 4 YEARS, CASKS USED – RED WINE AND FINISHED IN EX-ISLAY PEATED CASKS
Unexpeated is a collision of the old world and the new.
Starward sourced peated, whisky-soaked barrels from the island of Islay and filled them
with their Australian red wine barrel aged whisky. Coastal peat characteristics meld with
Starward’s signature style to create a unique expression.
*Fully matured in Melbourne without a peat bog in sight, now that’s unexpeated.”
This whisky is a lovely amber orange gold colour, with a thick syrupy swirl line and thick legs.
At 48% ABV the nose is lovely and strong, and it’s a very nicely married nose. Initially the Australian red wine barrel influence is very strong, red apple skins, strawberry laces, Jammy dodgers, raspberry ripple ice cream, and darker mocha coffee aromas.
A smokiness is coming through now, and it’s mixed with aromatic wood, cherry throat lozenges, cereals/grains, and blood oranges.
Quite a nice mouthfeel kicks off the palate, and the faint smoke from the nose is much stronger on the palate. Those Islay casks must have been absolutely saturated.
The mixture of medicinal peat and the red wine cask matured whisky is very nice, and it’s stronger and spicier than I expected. The resulting flavours are strongly peated blood oranges, cinnamon, red berries, and cough candy. Blackcurrant jam, cloves, mulled wine, red liquorice star anise with nutmeg.
Quite long, lovely and warming, with a touch of grapefruit bitterness, coffee dregs, orange bitters, black pepper, and some chilli warmth.
Even though i’m well aware of Starward whisky this is the first time iv’e tasted anything from them, and it was most welcome when it dropped through my front door as Whisky Pioneer’s May 2022 subscription sample.
I have to say that this is no shrinking violet, compared to the palate the nose is a little lighter and it hides the peat rather well, but as soon as you taste it that medicinal and coastal Islay peat is there in spades. As i said during my notes the casks must have been saturated, the peat level is impressive and was rather unexpected in all honesty. This mixed with the Starward Australian Red wine cask matured whisky is wonderful. Flavours range from red fruits through to darker spicy fruits.
All in all i think this is a superb whisky, that i’d very happily have a bottle of in my whisky cupboard. Iv’e seen it around from £80, not cheap, but you would be getting what i think is a rather unique bottle of whisky.
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