Starward Solera Single Malt
Single Malt — Victoria, Australia
Reviewed December 17, 2020 (edited August 22, 2021)
Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: This is jumping out of the glass at me. Vanilla, banana, brown sugar. Solid oak presentation. Some buried vegetal, herbal character. Also getting some stewed fruits with spices. Some s'mores character is showing up as this sits - especially the graham cracker. I feel like this is a combination of aged and young spirit - the oak character is also throwing me here. Almost like a weird blend of cask types? For as "loudly" as this presents, it's pretty friendly. No clue on age statement - going to randomly guess it's NAS since why not. Also no clue on region. Going to either be all malt or malt and grain. Palate: A pleasant combo of bananas, vanilla, just the slightest orange blossom, and white sugar. Mint chocolate. The texture and sensations here are more consistent with oak than proof, so I'll hazard we're sub -45%. Cinnamon graham crackers - almost a touch of doughy character. Bubblegum. Well integrated. Focused towards the back of the palate. Medium light mouthfeel. Finish: Mint, banana, and oak pop. Tannins wash over and this oak foundation appears. Orange, apple juice, cream, and slight floral/herbal character. A little bitterness helps balance things out, along with some tannin texture. Red hots show up, then as things drop off it trades punches with the vanilla, tannin, and banana. Medium length. Other notes: Surprised myself with this one! I love the idea of solera casks, and this reinforces why. I got proof, got close with mash, couldn't get region, and age doesn't count. This uses re-sized Apera casks, which is apparently similar to sherry. I enjoyed this - it's different but not a funky adventure. The overall profile is friendly without being boring. The cask influence is excellent and the balance keeps this interesting. I'd gladly buy a bottle of this to have around. Cheers, folks!