All the key details are in that post, but in short, this is a ~2.5year old Australian whisky distilled in Melbourne, near Essendon Airport. Different? Without a doubt. But how did it taste? In a word - surprising. In two words - surprisingly good!
Starward Malt Whisky (43% ABV, approximately 2.5 years old)
Nose: My first thought was "Bourbon"? David had mentioned I might notice some Bourbon hints (despite no Bourbon barrels being used in the production) and he wasn't wrong. Sweet and smooth, there isn't a hint of harshness on the nose. Figs and dried fruit are noticeable too.
(The colour is a rich amber - not overly dark, but dark enough considering the relative youth).
Palate: Less Bourbon than the nose, I got hints of toast, spice, and dried fruit. Still sweet, but not overly so. A dash of water toned down the dried fruit notes and really cranked up the spice. Smooth throughout, and extremely drinkable as an "everyday" whisky. I actually noticed a slight similarity to younger Glenfiddichs (e.g. 12yo).
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100
All up a very enjoyable dram, and something I could quite happily drink for any occasion. For $80, Starward should be considered excellent value in Australian whisky terms. I'll be buying a bottle.