Starward is an Australian whisky distillery that The Oak Barrel is lucky enough to have had a long and enjoyable relationship with. From the Essendon Fields site, through the Port Melbourne move and now the amazing ‘build up’ expansion of 2020, it’s a distillery we always make sure we visit when down south and a distillery that has always had a place in front of audiences when they’re heading north.

Over the years we've bottled three exclusive releases: in 2014 there was the 50 Litre Experimental Cooperage release for Sydney Whisky Fair, followed up at 2015's Sydney Whisky Fair exclusive with The Reverse Double.

Since then, and with multiple reciprocal visits, we tossed around various ideas as to what our next collaboration release could be. Without wanting to tread the same ground twice, and with Starward’s continuing popularity forcing pressure on the core releases, there were many bright ideas and great casks, but nothing that really suited a release to represent our relationship.

2020 has been a year none of us will forget soon, but if we're looking for silver linings - Starward has a few. From their exciting new expansion ("when you can't go out, you go up!") and the release of new core range expression Fortis, we've now released a new single cask: Smoke & Mirrors.

Raise a glass. Toast great whisky and the people who make it when you do.