In 2007, David Vitale founded the Starward distillery in Melbourne, Australia, with the hopes of crafting an approachable, food-friendly whisky that captured the character of his hometown.
Fast-forward to today, and Starward has garnered multiple spirits awards, including the San Francisco World Spirits Competition’s Most Awarded Distillery of the Year, and it is now available across the United States. The distillery produces seven unique expressions, and the award-winning Two-Fold Double-Grain Whisky is a standout.
This dynamic whisky combines spirits made from two Australian grains: malted barley and wheat. Inspired by craft beer, Starward ferments their barley with brewers’ yeast to yield an intense fruitiness. This is balanced by a whisky made from aromatic and dry wheat. Each whisky matures separately in barrels sourced from Australian vineyards that make Shiraz, Cabernet, and Pinot Noir.
To keep as much of a fresh red wine flavor profile as possible, Starward sources barrels from nearby vineyards, and they either lightly char or quickly blast the barrels with steam. Many are still wet with wine when they’re filled. Melbourne’s ever-shifting and often extreme temperatures allow Two-Fold to extract more flavor from the barrel in a short amount of time. And after just three years, both whiskies are ready to be combined.
On the nose, the Two-Fold is loaded with fruit, which follows through in the glass, accompanied by a generous helping of caramel and spice that lingers all the way through the finish. This is an incredibly approachable (and affordable) whisky fit for sipping solo or mixing into cocktails. $35; mashandgrape.com
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