Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Madeira Casks
Company: Starlight Distillery
Distillery: Starlight Distillery
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 4.5 Years (Finished for an additional 3-8 months)
Mashbill: Blend of 60% Corn, 20% Rye, 20% Malted Barley & 51% Corn, 20% Rye, 20% Malted Barley, 9% Wheat
Color: Reddish Copper
MSRP: $75 (2023)
Apricot | Peach | Red raspberry | Black raspberry | Very fruit forward
Fig | Black raspberry |Brown sugar | Rhubarb | Oak
Blackberries | Plum | Dark chocolate | Heavy oak | Thick mouthfeel | Long
Finished for up to 8 months, Starlight explores the outer limits of madeira finishing.
Starlight Distillery is located on the grounds of the Huber estate. Housing Huber’s Orchard & Winery, the family began farming back in 1843 when their ancestors settled in Starlight, Indiana from Baden-Baden, Germany. Now in its 8th generation with operations handled by Ted Huber and his sons Christian and Blake, Huber estate produces a variety of crops that are grown alongside the onsite distillery that produces an assortment of brandies and whiskeys. They began distilling whiskey in 2013, and all of their products are distilled onsite.
This release takes the company's standard straight bourbon and finishes it in madeira casks for an additional 3-8 months. My guess is it's closer to the high end and likely more time compared to its peers given how potent the madeira finish is. The viscosity of the sip is considerable as it comes across as much more thick and heavy than their standard bourbon, and more than most madeira finished whiskeys on the market. Starlight seems to be toying with how far they can push their madeira finish. It’s become a very popular style of wine finish over the past 5 years, as it often adds a light and very fruity accent to the bourbon it's paired with. Except in this case, it’s heavy and while fruity, it's very dark and brooding. With all wine finished bourbons, finishing time is a fine line that is easy to cross. This Starlight finished bourbon is definitely flirting with the devil, as I’ve never had a madeira finished bourbon pushed this far. If you’re a fan of madeira finished bourbon and are curious how far the style can be pushed, this will be right up your alley. For others, this will prove to be a challenging sip.