The Starward distillery was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2016. Being surrounded by some of Australia's best known wine regions, the Starward expressions often have influences and finished from the wine casks that are in plentiful supply.
The Nova is matured in such wine casks, having previously held Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet wines. As you'll already know, when whisky follows another beverage (Wine, Brandy, Rum etc) into a barrel, it picks up some of the character of the previous contents, so in this whisky, fruit notes from the wine are very obviously expected!
On the NoseWith water?
I got raspberry and grape (shock) on the nose. A slightly nutty aroma, but not overpowering. You can really smell the influence of wine, but I could only detect the raspberry and not so much the other red fruits I'd have expected.
On the palate
A sweet whisky, with a creamy honey texture. There was no getting away from it for me, there was a lingering red wine note on the palate. Not that it was unpleasant, just very obviously there. The finish was long and lingering, with a lovely cinnamon and walnut note remaining long after the dram was done.
I added a couple of drops, and for me, it dumbed it down. I much preferred this one neat.
Whilst not an overly complex whisky (and some may argue, a little 'boring', I did enjoy this whisky. I like the wine finish to the spirit and the overall experience of drinking this was pleasurable, easy, smooth and didn't take a whole lot of effort to smell and taste. There's a lot to be said for being a simple yet very enjoyable whisky, and that's exactly what this is.
Would I buy again?
I would, and I think I'd buy this to have as an easy sipper, or to use as an interesting dram for family and friends to show what a 'good' wine finished whisky tastes like.
Want to try it for yourself?
Why not try the Starward Nova for yourself? You can pick up a bottle online at any of the following retailers: