A Virtual Tour With Starward Distillery And Bourbon Women

The Bourbon Women Association, of which I have recently become President, have been doing a lot of virtual events over the last year, and we have found a great deal of success with those events. The main thing that we are finding is that people who ordinarily would have been shut out of events for not being able to get somewhere are able to join from wherever they are.

Our New York Branch was able to put together a national tasting with Starward Distillery in Australia. The event kicked off with a cocktail class taught by New York bartender Jena Ellenwood, who made a Honey Claret Snap, a riff of a whiskey sour:

Honey Claret Snap

  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz Two Fold Starward Whiskey
  • Egg white or aquafaba
  • red wine float
  • Combine honey syrup, lemon juice, whiskey, and egg white or aquafaba in shaker and dry shake (without ice). Add ice and shake again. Strain into glass with ice, Float red wine on top over the back of a spoon.

The virtual format was really nice because we were able to see a distillery that many of us would otherwise be unable to get to in person. The Distiller, Carlie Dyer, took us on a virtual tour of the distillery while Kotryna Gecaite, thebrand ambassador, led us through tastings.

We tried Starward Two-Fold, Starward Nova, and Starward Solera as the first three samples. Two fold is Australian Barley and wheat and is matured in red wine barrels. The Nova is a single malt matured in red wine barrels. The Solera is a single malt that uses a solera process and is matured in Australian Apera barrels.

The last two samples were single barrels. The first single cask is a single malt aged in a charred cask, which they found was preferred by American palates. The second was selected for Astor Wine & Spirits in New York.

Then came a second cocktail demonstration in which Jena Ellenwood made an Old Fashioned Honey:

Old Fashioned Honey

  • 2 Dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 oz Two Fold Starward Whiskey
  • Two dashes bitters in the glass. Add honey syrup and whiskey in glass. Add a large ice cube and stir. Peel an orange and squeeze the orange peel over the glass.

Starward is experimenting with lots of different fortified wine barrels as well as Heaven Hill and Maker’s Mark second-use bourbon barrels and ginger beer barrels. Those go into small batch releases. They are making single malt whiskeys with cherry wood and mesquite wood smoked barley malt, separately. They are additionally aging whiskey barrels on ships. It seems they are very interested in trying new things and learning from their experiences.

Starward Nova and Two Fold are both available on Mash & Grape. Single barrels are available at select retailers throughout the USA.

Photos courtesy of Maggie Kimberl

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