Two Australian whiskies have scooped prestigious Master medals at The World Whisky Masters 2021 in London.
The first was presented to Morris Australian Single Malt Whisky Muscat Barrel 48% from Copper and Grain Distilling. The judges described the whisky as “delicious”, with a “velvety palate” full of “butterscotch, honey porridge” and a “lovely malty finish”.
It’s a stunning result for the fortified winemaker, which only released its first whisky in June. Morris is making a long-term play to develop the Australian single malt whisky category with further innovation in the pipeline leveraging access to an unrivalled collection of fortified wine barrels, some of which are more than 100 years old.
Since 2016, the team has been working with John McDougall, one of the world’s most renowned whisky makers, who has previous experience with leading producers including Balvenie, Laphroaig and Springbank. He now consultants exclusively to Morris in Australia as Master Distiller.
The late Dr Jim Swan was also a key member of the original Morris whisky team. He’s been described as the ‘Einstein of whisky’ for his technical expertise and has extensive experience working with renowned brands including Kilchoman, Kavalan and Bowmore. Both Scotsmen were integral to designing a unique barrel maturation program, including barrel selection and providing the team with a special and unique barrel toasting regime.
Starward’s Unexpeated single malt also secured the top medal and was praised for its “very good maturation”, which delivered “creamy, rum and raisin” aromas, and “toffee, tobacco and lots of oaky goodness” on the palate.
Starward, and Copper and Grain Distilling clearly set out to prove Australia deserves to be recognised in the whisky world, bagging an additional 10 Gold medals in the single malt contingent. The latter producer picked up three Gold awards, including one for its Morris Australian Single Malt Whisky Signature 44%, with notes of “sandalwood, myrrh, rose water”. The judges described the whisky as “very aromatic”.
Starward took home an additional seven Gold medals in this round, including one for Starward Two‐Fold, which had aromas of “honey, citrus, apricots” and flavours of “spices and Turkish delight”.
Starward founder David Vitale said: “Innovation is part of our DNA here at Starward. The continuous trialling and experimenting by our teams mean we continue to innovate to craft the best whisky we can. We were ecstatic to strike Gold in every category that we entered, and these awards show the world just how special our whisky is. Just taste it and you’ll understand why we think the real gold is in the bottle.”
Judge Michel Fichtner, head bartender at the Coburg Bar at The Connaught hotel in London, said: “These were very consistent, very nice, drinkable whiskies. The standard was very high from Australia – it was great to see, and it’s exciting to think about what we could be tasting from this part of the world in a few years’ time.”