Single Malt for the discerning drinker

Starward represents a new world where experience is respected but boundaries are challenged. This world class malt is youthful, rich and bright; a fine balance of tradition and innovation – of passion and analysis.

Bold but delicate, youthful but mature; rich and contemplative, and surprisingly crisp. It’s the essence of a determination to explore, discover and enlighten.

Starward. What whisky can be.

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Our Whisky

Our New World

David Vitale

New World Whisky Distillery

Combining the Best of Old & New

New World Whisky began in 2004 with a chance meeting at a whisky distillery. That meeting changed my life. Everything about whisky captivated me: the product, the process and of course the opportunity. Since then I have devoted my life to developing a modern whisky from Australia. A spirit we can offer the world with pride.

Unshackled from tradition, our quest was to discover what whisky could be. Taking the best of the old world and marrying it with the best Australia has to offer: our ingredients, our climate and our people.
The result is a unique world class malt I’m truly proud of.

David Vitale

David Vitale – CEO & Founder

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Our History

In Search of a New Horizon

The beginnings of the New World Whisky Distillery are like any good traveller’s tale: David Vitale needed a new frontier. After eight years developing his e-learning business in Melbourne, he upped stakes with his fiancé, and headed to Tasmania.

The original idea was to create an organic brewery. But a chance meeting at a micro-distillery captured Dave’s imagination for whisky.  This shortly led to a handshake agreement to return to Melbourne and start a new distillery with some local investors. That was 2004.  As with most early stage start-ups, it has been a white-knuckle experience, but through determination and a certain amount of luck, New World Whisky Distillery has released its first product a world class premium malt whisky: Starward.

Now in its fourth year of production, the distillery has evolved into one of Australia’s leading producers of premium whisky, and prides itself on challenging conventional perceptions of what whisky can be. Just like the country in which its made, Starward is youthful, rich and bright. It’s a testament to our team; and our mission to give the world an exceptional modern whisky.


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Our Team

Stuart Giglia Chairman

Stuart Giglia, has broad experience in the food and agribusiness arena, developed over nearly 20 years throughout Australasia. Stuart has spent a large part of his career working in commercial strategy, M&A, capital raisings, business integration and restructuring.

Chris Middleton Director

For over 25 years, Chris was worked in the alcohol and beverage industries. He currently operates the Whisky Academy, a business consultancy working with global distilling companies. He writes for international whisky and spirits trade publications and was the creator/editor Explore Whisky books (2013) and Explore Rum (2014). Chris was one of the original New World Whisky Distillery founders, along with David Vitale back in 2008/9.

Previously, he was the global director for Jack Daniel’s, world’s leading whisky. Chris led the global team responsible for brand planning and communications strategy in the USA and international markets for the Jack Daniel’s family of brands.

He was also CEO of NPD/brand management firm specialising in beverages. Prior to this role worked in senior global management roles amongst the world’s top 100 brands in both international and regional capacities with IDV (now Diageo with Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Ballantine’s); Allied Domecq (now Pernod Richard with Tia Maria, rums, gin, tequila); Brown-Forman (Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort).

Peter Dunn Director

Peter has some 30 years experience as a Director, ranging from listed ASX, national industry body, private companies & community associations. He successfully built a significant & independent financial planning practice in Melbourne and is a major contributor to the financial services industry. Peter was a Board Member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia and recipient of Australian Financial Planner of the Year.

Andrew Macdonald Chief Executive Officer

Andrew has held numerous “C-level” roles in private and public companies, with a strong record of business expansion in early to mid-stage companies.
His recent roles have included CEO of ARKpK, Chair/Director at BioMelbourne Network and CEO of OTEK Australia.

David Vitale Founder and Director of Sales & Marketing

David graduated from RMIT University in 1995 with a business degree majoring in accounting. He subsequently graduated with a Diploma of Financial Planning from RMIT in 1996 and, in 2002, he graduated from the University of California – Berkeley’s Executive Development Program for High Growth Start-up Firms.
Between March 2006 and April 2008, David was responsible for the sales, marketing and business development activities of Lark Distillery.

Ian Thorn Distillery Manager

Ian returned to Australia with a young family to join Victoria Valley in September of 2011 after spending 7 years living and working in the UK. He moved to England to pursue the dream of becoming a brewer, and after 2 ½ years as a Microbiologist (including 19 months at Scottish & Newcastle) he landed the job of Head Brewer at Stroud Brewery where, for the next 4 years, he increased sales and production 5 fold. He has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology and Diplomas in Brewing & Distilling. Ian is responsible for the efficiency, consistency and expansion of our spirit production.

Hugh Holds Head of Maturation

After completing his masters of Oenology at the University of Adelaide it was a passion for the premium spirits industry that lead Hugh around the world to Edinburgh Scotland, chasing experience in the heartland of whisky production. While there, he built on his existing understanding of the spirits industry by managing a top end whisky bar and becoming familiar with whisky production processes through regular visits to distilleries.
Upon returning to Australia Hugh took up employment at both the Bird in Hand and Howard Vineyard wineries, further honing his production and managerial skill set. To New World Whisky Distillery Hugh brings not only practical capabilities but a dynamic formal understanding of alcohol production further enhanced by his recent completion of the IBD general certificate in distilling.

Jace Yendall Head of Brewing

Jace Yendall joins the team having previously worked as a logistics expert with a national supermarket chain. An avid home-brewer who was looking for a change of pace, he now forms an integral part of the team on the production floor. He also heads up our social media and online efforts keeping our followers in the loop with what’s new and happening at New World Whisky Distillery

Paul Slater Brand Ambassador

Paul joins our team having established a reputation as a leading venue manager in high calibre bars throughout Melbourne’s inner north. As such he’s naturally suited to heading up our new cellar door efforts and is well placed to develop our on-going relationships with the local bartending community as our Brand Ambassador. He’s also a keen photographer whose skills are indispensable to our web-shop, marketing and social media efforts which he also oversees. Most of the time he’s knee deep in organising our marketing events from Whisky Live to a small tasting in town, chances are if you’re at a Starward tasting Paul will be too.

An avowed coffee addict and a massive whisky fan, it’s probably not a surprise that despite a degree in geology he’s not a fan of whisky on the rocks.

Jarrad Huckshold Production Distiller

Jarrad joins us from South Australia where he’s enjoyed a solid career in the wine industry. He’s worked for a range of wineries, small to very large, in a variety of production and sales roles and holds an honors degree in viticulture and oenology from the University of Adelaide. Throughout this career he is proud to have blended and produced wine that’s won many prestigious awards. Although his background is in wine making, his passion has always been distillation and whisky which has brought him to Melbourne and New World Whisky Distillery.

Russell Stubbs Production Distiller

Making his move from Tasmania to the mainland in 2011, Russell is one of the latest additions to the New World Whisky team. He brings with him a wealth of experience from Lark Distillery in Tasmania, BrewDog in Scotland and more recently, Carlton & United Breweries in Melbourne. Russell’s passion for the whisky industry lead him to Scotland where he completed his Masters thesis on utilising waste from the Scotch Whisky industry for renewable energy. Russell forms an integral part of the New World Whisky team and is committed to the production of premium Australian Whisky.

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Process & Innovation

Creating a modern whisky

Starting a distillery with a blank sheet of paper is both refreshing and daunting. A whisky unshakled from tradition needs to play to the strengths of the place and the people making it.

For nine years our team, led by our founder has experimented with barley and barrels. We have adopted, adjusted and re-adjusted brewing, distilling and maturation techniques while observing the influence of time, place and the natural elements.

We’ve worked with our maltster and use a bespoke Australian malted barley to suit our requirements – a balanced cereal note providing a full mouthfeel, and a blend of yeasts to create our unique orchard fruit aroma. We hand select Australian fortified wine barrels that are painstainkingly re-coopered, re-toasted and re-sized for aging our spirit extracting dried fruit, spice and more sweetness.  Melbourne’s climate – with it’s highly variable temperature range – mellows the whisky, maturing quicker than its northern hemisphere peers, without compromising quality.

The result is Starward. A modern whisky which borrows from the past without being constrained by it, and combines it with the best Australia has to offer; our ingredients, our climate and our people.


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In March 2013, we launched our premium single malt, Starward, in Australia. This was the culmination of years of hard work and conviction. We invite you to be part of the New World story by trying our whisky, or working with us.

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Buy Our Whisky

Purchase a bottle

STARWARD is available nationally through Dan Murphy’s and Vintage Cellars and good independent retailers.

You can visit the STARWARD site to find the closest retailer and bar that offers STARWARD for sale.

You can also purchase direct from us .

If you are having a hard time finding our whisky or think it should be in a retailer, fill in the form below and we’ll get onto it ASAP!

Contact us to find out more

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Work With Us

We are a growing business and from time to time we have opportunities for employment where you can work at Australia’s most exciting distillery. To date, we have been very deliberate in our planning and recruitment program to only include individuals that share our vision of offering an Australian spirit to the world with pride.

Check here regularly for positions available. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you in the loop on news and any newly posted employment opportunities.

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News & Events

Some exciting news to share

New World Whisky Distillery, home of STARWARD whisky, has completed a major fundraising to expand production at its Melbourne whisky distillery and take its uniquely Australian whisky to international markets. STARWARD Media Release

Our Events are Stored on the Starward Website

Click this link to go to the Starward News and Events page.

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Contact Us

We Value Your Comments & Suggestions

Building 136, 181 Larkin Street, Essendon Fields, Victoria 3041, Australia (Google Map)
t. +61 (0)3 9005 4420  f. +61 (0)3 9005 4423

Contact us online

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