At the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), a little-known whiskey brand out of Australia came away with the distinction of being the most-awarded distillery at the competition — beating out over 4,000 others. That distillery is Starward Whisky, which has carved out an interesting niche by aging most of its offerings — single malts and blended whiskeys — in wine casks. I had the opportunity to sample Starward's award-winning offerings earlier this year, and they certainly live up to the acclaim.
After last year's impressive showing, Starward is quickly gaining popularity as a distillery, so much so that the brand has opened up a ballot system for buyers looking to secure a bottle of its newest offering. The new bottle, which has not yet hit this year's awards circuit, is Ginger Beer Cask #7. Read on to discover how to snag a bottle for yourself.
What is Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7?
The latest release from Starward may be new, but it didn't just appear out of nowhere. In fact, the "#7" refers to the fact that this is the seventh time Starward has released a Ginger Beer Cask whiskey (last year's Cask #6 won a Double Gold at the aforementioned SFWSC). It is the first time that a Ginger Beer Cask bottle is being sold in the US, though, which is pretty big news since it's considered a cult favorite from the brand Down Under, with each annual limited release tending to sell out quickly.
How is Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7 made?
Starward actually brews its own ginger beer and stores it in oak barrels. After the spicy liquid is absorbed into the staves, it's emptied out and replaced with Starward's Nova and Solera single malt whiskeys. The whiskeys then mature in the ginger beer casks for a full year — twice as long as the finishing process used on Cask #6.
What are Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7's tasting notes?
According to Starward, the golden-auburn whiskey has a nose of ginger, orange and dark chocolate; a palate of very spicy ginger, vanilla, pineapple, raisins and fig; and a warm finish of candied ginger, citrus and Apera — an Australian red wine used to finish Solera.
Ginger Beer Cask #7 is bottled at 48 percent ABV (96 proof).
How to get your bottle of Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7
Since Starward expects the limited run of Ginger Beer Cask #7 to sell out, the distillery has set up a lottery system for US customers that will allow them to potentially secure their own bottle at the SRP of $100 — in other words, you won't have to deal with potential inflated prices on the secondary market. Here's how it works.
- Go to this website.
- Between now and May 16, enter your name and email in the ballot form and click "Submit."
- On May 17, Starward will randomly draw a select number of ballots who will then be contacted via email and sent a code to purchase the whiskey for $100 USD.
- The code expires within 24 hours, so if you're lucky enough to get that email, be sure to act fast.
Following the conclusion of the lottery, Starward will make a very limited number of bottles of Ginger Beer Cask #7 available in person at select spirits retailers in the US, so you may still have a chance to purchase at retail — if you're lucky.