Launched in Europe earlier this year, Left-Field is the newest addition to the Starward core range. Matured in red wine barrels, Starward Left-Field is an Australian single malt whisky, specifically made with the European palate in mind.
Founded by David Vitale in 2013, Starward has become the fastest growing Australian whisky brand, bringing together skilled brewers and ex-winemakers. The brand’s portfolio has received a number of accolades since then, including Australian Brand Innovator of the Year at the 2018 World Whisky Awards.
While few Australian distilleries have managed to capture the imagination of a global audience, due to stock constraints, Starward is set on creating a new category of whisky, making sure it’s on every self-respecting bar in the world, alongside great Scotch, American, Irish, and Japanese whiskies.
The new Starward Left-Field expression is matured in 100 percent French oak casks to enhance the complex oak characters while maintaining the delicate Australian wine flavours. Some charred French oak red wine barrels are also used, adding further complexity, sourced from Australian wine regions the Barossa Valley and the Yarra Valley, having held Australian red wines such as shiraz, cabernet, and pinot noir. To maintain the wine’s flavour, most barrels are filled fresh and are still wet with wine.
On the launch of Starward Left-Field, Starward Founder David Vitale said: “We felt it was important for us to create a flavourful but easy drinking and approachable whisky that talks to the place it is made, like very few whiskies can. With our red wine barrel aging, our whiskies also offer something very different to most others. This juicy approachability from our red wine barrels means our whiskies are perfect for cocktails and mixing. Just try a Left-Field and tonic! Tonic and whisky, I know it sounds mad – but it works! It’s refreshing and bright and brings out the smooth, full flavour of our whisky.”
Starward Left-Field is a remarkably versatile whisky – delicious on its own, with a splash of mixer, or in cocktails such as a simple Starward Spritz (recipe below). Neat, the whisky has tannic, fruity notes, with a hint of apple skin, apricot jam, and dried fruits, plus whispers of almond, maple syrup, cacao, and baking spices such as nutmeg and ginger. Ginger cake savours also prevail on the palate alongside a bold vinous character with woody notes and a suggestion of oaky vanilla, joining rye bread, dark chocolate, and licquorice notes. A bold, complex whisky with some tropical notes on the finish alongside a soft tannic structure.
Starward Left-Field is available from Waitrose, RRP £35, 70cl. Further information on Starward can be found here.
Starward Spritz Recipe
30ml Starward Left-Field
30ml Rose Vermouth
90ml Grapefruit Soda
Mint sprig & grapefruit wedge, to garnish
Build all ingredients over ice in a wine glass and garnish with a mint sprig and grapefruit wedge.