Our rich, complex original.
Solera was our very first whisky and is a bona fide Starward take on a traditional whisky expression. Rich and well balanced jammy fruits, creme brûlée and spice with a lingering dry finish. Solera neat, over ice or shaken up in a classic cocktail.
There’s a time for tradition and there’s a time to go rogue.
Solera was the first whisky where we borrowed from tradition then started asking questions. It left us with a whisky deemed world class not just by us, but award judges too.
86 Proof (ABV 43%)
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.
Rules aren't our thing usually. But there are a few guiding principles we stick by.
The first is flavour.
We chose Australian malted barley, fermented with brewers' yeast for Nova and Solera because of the tropical fruit character it gives to our whisky. Then for Two-Fold, wheat's dry, aromatic character offered perfect balance.
The next is provenance.
We source every ingredient from just a day's drive away. 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.
We carefully select barrels from nearby wineries for a minimal intervention approach. 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.
Australian winemakers had the audacity to take on the old world of wine. So why couldn't we do the same with whisky?
Whiskies had used wine barrels as a starter or a finisher before. But no-one had clocked the packs-a-punch flavour you can extract from full wine barrel maturation. We felt it was time to go big, or go home.
We carefully select wine barrels that are soaked in flavour. Think bold, full-bodied Aussie reds like shiraz and cabernet for Two-Fold and Nova. Or rich fortified Apera for our Solera.
Then, Melbourne's weird and wonderful weather takes over. Blasts of arctic breeze from the south and harsh desert winds from the north have given our city a reputation for experiencing 'four seasons in a day'. 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).
David Vitale is our founder and he started this mighty adventure with a simple vision; to create a uniquely Australian whisky we can offer the world with pride.
Growing up in Melbourne, in a big Italian family, he's always been food obsessed without ever getting too serious or formal about it. He wanted to make a whisky which feels right at home at those moments spent around the dinner table.
It seems obvious now that all the ingredients for a modern Australian whisky were close by. But, in 2007, when he first started, the idea of an approachable, affordable Australian whisky - served neat or as a cocktail with food - was a big leap of faith. David's early experimentation with Australian red wine and Apera barrels was him literally putting in all his (neutral) spirit into them. That's how something great starts, right?
Nose / Bright tropical and orchard fruits, caramel and vanilla.
Palate / Toasty caramel and creme brûlée, banana, figs and sweet spice.
Finish / Juicy and full with a lingering dry spice.
Double Gold medal winner at San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2022
Gold winner at New York Spirits Comp 2021
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