For lovers of whiskey, there is a Melbourne hot spot that is simply a must visit.

Located in the heart of Port Melbourne, Starward Distillery, is famous for creating the most delectable whiskey’s around, matched with delicious experiences from tours to degustation journeys.

Their latest creation is a first, a limited-edition Tawny cask, which launched last month with with only 4,000 unique bottlings available –  making is one unique addition to this years’s Christmas gift guide and festive table.

So what is it that makes Starward Distillery so special?

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Head Distiller Sam Slaney, and chat about the new addition, the art of food pairing and get a glimpse into whats next ….

What is the inspiration behind the new release of the limited-edition Tawny cask?

Australian fortified barrels are some of our favourite barrels to work with, providing rich, decadent flavours that integrate well with our fresh, fruit forward spirit. Some of the world’s best expressions of Tawny come from within a days’ drive of the Starward Distillery.

While sourcing Australian Tawny barrels is difficult due to the small amount being released, and high cost of the barrels, when we had a chance to secure Tawny octave barrels from Yalumba and freshly recoopered Tawny barrels from SA Cooperage, we jumped at the opportunity.

We love to do full term maturation rather than finishes, as we get a more complete representation of the barrels impact on the liquid, and a true opportunity to really enjoy what these barrels can offer. This is the inspiration behind the delicious new Tawny cask.

Your distillery is certainly a favourite destination for whiskey lovers. What are some of the things guests can expect when they visit?

When you visit the Starward Distillery you can expect a bloody good time, a chance to see the distillery in action, seeing the mashing and distilling processes, as well as the barrel store. You can then choose to sample our whiskies that are only available at the distillery, or enjoy delicious cocktails made by our rockstar bar team.

The Distillery also have whisky masterclasses and regular tours and tastings that make a great day out with friends or a unique gift in the lead up to Christmas.

When it comes to food pairing – what is the perfect match for the Tawny?

The Starward Tawny is a delicious after-dinner drink at Christmas that can be enjoyed neat, with food such as blue cheeses like stilton and roquefort, with rich desserts or, as a digestif. You really can’t go wrong with cheese or desserts, especially plumb pudding!

What are some of the exciting projects coming up at Starward?

Starward’s limited-editions, like the Tawny cask are created as part of the Projects platform; a program that allows Starward’s distillers to experiment with different whiskies to create flavour forward and unique expressions.

Since its inception in 2014, Starward Projects have released several standout whiskies including the much-loved and four times repeated, Ginger Beer cask as well as a Bourbon cask which sold out within only four hours. We are always experimenting at Starward, with plenty of exciting things planned for 2020 such as another Ginger Beer cask release and some exciting wine barrel releases yet to be revealed…50 Bertie St, Port Melbourne VIC

Starward Distillery

50 Bertie St, Port Melbourne VIC

www.starward.com.au