Over the weekend we shared the news of the new Starward Projects release, the Dolce, and a bottled of it arrived today thanks to the lovely people at Starward Distillery, so we thought we'd give it a proper taste and let you know what we think!
As a quick recap, it's a limited release of 4,800 bottles at 48% ABV, is Matured in Australian red wine barrels and finished in dessert wine barrels, that held Australian interpretation of a Sicilian Dessert Wine and retailers for $119. Also, you can find it here!
Let's get in to it!
Body - 8: Not overly weighty, but impactful, with an almost explosive entrance.
Length - 9: Really quite nice and long! With the heavy middle palate giving slowly away to the lingering sweetness.
Burn - 9: Slight burn around the edges of the tongue, but not much more than anticipated for the 48% ABV.
Complexity - 8: Lots going on here, but with 3 main profiles coming in and out of focus; sugar sweetness, oak influence and dried fruit sweetness.
Texture - 9: Really silky and oily with surprisingly minor amounts of tannin.
Balance - 8: As promised, it's sweet. But the middle palate really holds the sweetness in check very well, keeping it from becoming sickly sweet.
Flaws - 9: Some ever-so-slight sour notes from the wine cask come through between the initial sweetness and the middle palate.
Aroma Enjoyment - 7: It's like the classic banana lolly scent is covered in a raspberry sugar coating, but there's also a nice oak-spice reminding us it's whisky. Some slight sharpness in the nose.
Palate Enjoyment - 8: What just happened? It's like a 3-course dinner in a flash, but with dessert first (and maybe also last). Immediate, explosive sweetness, followed by a surprising rich, dark, malty, zesty-ness and finishing with a lingering vanilla and dried fruit sweetness.
Overall Enjoyment - 8: Brilliantly crafted, with the sweetness in check, making it both interesting and easy to drink. Certainly appropriate for dessert and makes me want some flourless chocolate cake to go along with it!
Final Score - 83/100
We hope you enjoyed the info and it has helped you decide whether or not to buy a bottle! A big thanks to the people at Starward for giving us a sneak preview and allowing us to share our thoughts!
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