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Starward Celebrates 15th Anniversary Of Crafting Australian Single Malts With The Vitalis

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(Image Source: Starward)


Time flies! From a discarded airplane hanger to world's most awarded whisky distillery of 2022, Starward has been on an absolutely tear!

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the distillery is commemorating its charismatic founder, David Vitale, with a limited expression - the Vitalis.


(Image Source: Starward)


David Vitale had set out to make great craft beers, and ended up laying the groundwork for an incredible Australian whisky distillery, making a name for itself through its use of Australian red wine barrels and the goal of making whisky designed to pair with Melbourne's scintillating food culture.

In creating the Vitalis, the team at Starward did a thorough taste test through its Port Melbourne barrel hall, hand-selecting the best parcels of whiskies that also carried historical significance for the distillery's journey thus far. This included the likes of red wine casks, apera, tawny, bourbon and rum casks.


(Image Source: Starward)


"The distillers started with red wine, as this was the parcel that represented the Starward’s foundation, providing a nod to both its beginnings and its future. After all, red wine barrels have come to represent the whisky profile for which Starward is best known.

Next, two fills of apera were selected, the first fill representing Starward’s first ever release – Solera – while the second fill represents the process the brand underwent as it learned to take more time with the ageing process, playing with its whisky in order to better coax out the delicate notes within.

The apera parcels were followed by tawny, a mainstay for Australian whisky maturation. Recognising it as a preeminent style of Australian whisky, Starward’s first tawny release in 2019 saw the brand leaning into its own Australian identity, resulting in a highly awarded nod to tradition and the quality ingredients we have right here.


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(Image Source: Starward)


A bourbon parcel was selected next as it represents what Starward regards as its “sliding doors moment”. Recognising at the time that apera barrels were a finite option and couldn’t take the whisky to the world. Starward could have played it safe and imported bourbon barrels as was and is the done thing. Instead, Starward put all its money on red (literally), placing its entire spirits stock into Australian red wine barrels. Needless to say, it was a gamble that paid off.

Lastly, the distillers chose a rum parcel made up of barrels that began their journey holding whisky, were then used to house Australian rum, before circling back to do their part for Starward’s Vitalis. Despite the fact Starward has never released a rum-finished whisky, this parcel represents the bountiful ingredients on offer in Australia, while also acting as a nod to the endless possibilities the future holds."



(Image Source: Starward)


Together, these casks of Starward's whiskies were brought together to create an "undeniably delicious and sophisticated Australian whisky experience,... starting with Starward's ripe and fruity signature".


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(Image Source: Starward)


Vitalis represents Starward’s life and how we are looking to new horizons. Named after our Founder, David Vitale, Vitalis is a signpost of David's gumption to "bet the farm" in hopes of creating a modern and accessible whisky. This dedication led to the food-friendly and approachable whisky that Starward is known for today, which Vitalis celebrates with its unique liquid story.



(Image Source: Starward)


Official Tasting Notes




Chewy toffee, raisins, chocolate coated pineapples and cedar.


Big & viscous, rich dried fruits, red currant, and lightly roasted coffee beans.


Long & oily finish with a delicate balance of fruit and oak.


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(Image Source: Starward)


The limited commemorative expression will be sold via lottery on Starward's website, which will run from 6 October 2022, with winners announced on 4 November 2022, priced at AUD$199, and is bottled at 52% ABV.