Melbourne-based Starward has been doing some interesting things as of late. The distillery is keen on showcasing what Australia has to offer, maturing their whiskies in Australian wine casks. It certainly highlights the terrior. Their latest, Solera, sees their single malt whisky matured in Apera casks. Apera is an Australian fortified wine. It’s their version of sherry-cask maturation, so to speak.
Bottled at 43% ABV, Solera features caramelized orchard fruits on the nose. They sit alongside hints of vanilla and sweet malt notes. The whisky doesn’t seem too dimensional, until you taste it. Lovely juicy fruit meets figs and raisin on entry. It’s bright fruit accompanied by denser, darker fruit. An undercurrent of creamy caramel adds richness. The backplate sees an introduction of burnt orange peel and a sprinkling of baking spices. The finish sees more of those darker fruits come to the forefront along with a tighter concentration of spice.
Solera might be my favorite of what I’ve tasted from Starward. Like I mentioned above, it reminds me of a nice sherried malt… but different. I love the mix of bright and dark fruit notes. They sit well with the building spice notes. At an SRP of $70, this is a no brainer for sherried malt fans.
Thanks to Starward for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.