2016 Berry Bros. & Rudd Starward, Cask No. 1867
Berry Bros. & Rudd, Britain’s oldest wine and spirits merchant, founded in 1698, have bottled their first Australian whisky, a four year old single malt from Starward’s New World Whisky Distillery.
Speaking on the release, Jonny McMillan, the assistant spirits buyer for Berry’s, said: ‘In Berry Bros. & Rudd’s 300 year history, we’ve bottled thousands of excellent, if I do say so myself, single casks of whisky.
‘But until now, we’ve never bottled anything from Australia, or even anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m very excited to say that the new release from Berry Bros. & Rudd is going to mark a change to that.’
Bottled at cask strength, 58.2% ABV, McMillan describes the Berry’s Starward single cask as big, spicy and wood-driven, with strawberry and apricot jam and hints of tobacco.
‘I think it’s an excellent bookmark in Berry Bros. & Rudd’s history, to mark us moving to offer a few global whisky casks, and this is an excellent one to lead the charge.’
But until now, we’ve never bottled anything from Australia, or even anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m very excited to say that the new release from Berry Bros. & Rudd is going to mark a change to that. – Jonny McMillan
The Starward selected by Berry’s was distilled in 2016 and fully matured in an ex-apera cask for four years.
Whole barrels of Starward single malt were shipped to the UK earlier in 2020 in preparation for this bottling.
Sam Slaney, Starward’s production director, told Oz Whisky Review that the project had been a number of years in the making.
‘We’d been in conversation with Berry’s for a while. They got in touch with us and reached out and we started a relationship… We sent some samples over and then we had a bit of a chat back and forth.
‘They knew about us, and knew what we were doing and were really excited by it… The cask they’ve bottled is first-fill apera, so it’s just classic Starward, classic Australian whisky. It’s a really good one to launch with.’
Starward’s New World Whisky Distillery, reopening to the public November 6th – Supplied
In 2019, The Whisky Exchange in the UK bottled an exclusive Starward single cask release. Adelphi also featured Starward in one of their Fusion releases when it was blended with Glen Grant and Glen Garioch for The Brisbane whisky in 2018.
Slaney, who’s currently overseeing the completion of major renovations to the distillery in Port Melbourne ahead of its reopening on November 6th, sees this latest release as another sign for Australian whisky’s potential in overseas markets.
‘It’s great for Australian whisky in terms of growing up and maturing and getting more presence in these sorts of circles,’ says Slaney.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing more of it. The industry is starting to get to that point where export is the next frontier, so it’s great to put some Australian whiskies out there for people to explore.’
The 2016 Berry Bros. & Rudd Starward is currently available via Berry Bros. & Rudd’s UK website for £100.