Aussie Whisky Darlings Deliver Flavour, Two-Fold
Sure, there’s always the high-end stuff that’s locked in a cabinet in the bottle shop; the cabinet that’s only opened for well-groomed, well-to-do businessmen dropping in for a bottle to take to an associate’s bi-monthly card-and-cigar night.
Modern whisky’s reality is, of course, very different, with ‘the water of life’ going the way of gin and vodka and delighting new audiences through a raft of craft distillers. Exports of premium spirits now account for 34% of Australia’s overall spirit industry revenue, with whisky the fastest-growing category. Where there were only a handful of distilleries in Australia in the mid-1990s – and less than 50 in 2013 – there are now more than 120, producing premium whisky, gin, vodka, brandy, absinthe and other as-yet-unnamed spirituous concoctions.
A leader of the new-age whisky pack is Melbourne’s Starward. It burst onto the scene in 2013 with a simple, yet bold vision: to offer the world “a distinctly Australian whisky that captures the essence of Melbourne.”
Starward quickly became recognised within whisky circles as being a dram good drop, winning a string of awards, and has become the fastest-growing Australian whisky brand.
“We wanted to create a flavourful but easy-drinking whisky that talks to the place it is made, like very few whiskies can.”
– David Vitale
Now with their latest offering, Two-Fold – a whisky matured in the four-seasons-in-one-day climate of Melbourne, using Australian wine barrels – they’re causing quite a stir in the global market. It’s the introduction of wheat into the mix; creating a lighter drop that, founder David Vitale says, accentuates the wine-barrel flavour.
“These characteristics make Two-Fold a great whisky to craft uncomplicated cocktails for the dinner table. Coming from one of the foodie capitals of the world, we felt it was important to showcase what Melbourne has to offer at the dinner table with a whisky that was made for that occasion as well as the traditional neat serve.”
Vitale says one of the drivers behind maturing the whisky in red wine barrels was to create a bridge for wine drinkers to discover whisky is an accessible way.
“We wanted to create a flavourful but easy-drinking whisky that talks to the place it is made, like very few whiskies can,” he says.
Aimed at the mass market – and with a competitive price tag of A$65 a bottle – it’s a whisky won’t taste like any other you’ve tried before: soft aromatics of red fruit and warm vanilla spice tease the nose; tropical fruit and lightly toasted oak hit the palate.
It’s a great looking bottle, too – a no-brainer for birthdays and Father’s Day!