So, here’s the thing. I went to a high school that took education pretty seriously and entered into a kind of marks competition with the rest of the part of rural NSW that I grew up in.
To be honest, it wasn’t a tough competition. In the early 1980s school was kind of an abstract idea at the best of times and doing well at it, wasn’t something that most people thought about too much.
The school had two types of teacher. Young ones who would teach you to pass exams and old ones that would teach you their subject, because they loved it and sometime in the 1960’s they had chosen to become a teacher because it was their passion.
These teachers really knew what they were talking about and in some cases were heavyweights at their topic of interest. These teachers were less interested in passing exams and more interested in you getting an education, they genuinely wanted you to fall in love with what they taught.
That’s how I know what two-fold means. I had an English teacher in year 7, year 10 and year 11, called Mrs Mulheron, who was a bona fide genius at English. She was, from memory; short, short-tempered, prone to sarcasm, rumoured to be unlucky in love, a single mother and a gifted teacher, so of course, she made my life hell.
She taught us English in detail. She taught us grammar, Latin, poetry and to appreciate a book. She genuinely cared about and loved her subject. When she taught us Under Milk Wood she brought in Long Playing Records of Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas’s poetry. If asked I can still quote Under Milk Wood*, Fern Hill and Do Not Go So Gentle.
She taught us to construct a sentence and how to remove every superfluous word from a paragraph.
She taught us the order of words. She taught us that adjectives go in this order:opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So that’s: Lovely, little, old, square, blue, French, formal cufflinks.
You can’t mess with that order, try it. The words feel like marbles on your tongue.
So, here’s the thing about two-fold. If you have a two-fold argument, it means that you have an argument that has two elements that are equally as important. You know, the problem is risky and expensive. This car is big and heavy.
So that’s the joke in the name of this Whisky – it uses malt and wheat to create the alcohol and then it’s blended and both are equally as important.
Whisky is usually malt liquor. Gin and Vodka are grain alcohols. But in this case the people at Starward have used both, the malt gives it colour and character, the wheat alcohol gives it smoothness.
Two-Fold is intended to be an everyday mixing and cocktail whisky, a neutral blend. A drinker’s blend.
There are a lot of people who would argue that adding grain alcohol is kind of a distiller’s trick to boost the volume and to make the Whisky more cheaply.
You buy the ethanol in bulk from a place in Nowra called the Manildra Group which makes most of the ethanol in Australia. If you are drinking an Australian Gin, you are probably drinking ethanol made my Manildra.
But that doesn’t matter. In this case, the people at Starward have used the grain alcohol to nicely balance the malt alcohol and used red wine casks to give it a subtle flavour.
I had friends over when I sampled it. We had cocktails at my house before going out to dinner.
We tried Two-Fold neat, it was lovely, then with soda and ice. Again lovely. We made Whisky Sours, the lemon juice and simple syrup cocktail which shows up a bad whisky and then we made an Old Fashioned each. By that time we had drunk half a bottle. And we were late for dinner. And dinner was, well raucous.
I plan to pay Starward back two-fold. I’m buying two bottles for my cellar because it’s a cracking drop and well worth having.