The Starward X Cunard, The Seafarer has returned from its global journey! This truly one-of-a-kind whisky spent the past year sailing 95,000 nautical miles around the globe in an oak barrel, fixed to the open decks of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. It was auctioned for charity, albeit in extremely limited quantities.

The journey first began in the Starward distillery where two of its signature Australian wine barrels were aged for two and a half years in Melbourne's highly reactive climate, before one was sent aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth on 28 February 2018. One barrel, named the Seafarer, circumnavigated the globe for a year, spending 160 days at sea and a further 187 days visiting more than 90 beautiful ports around the globe. It crossed the equator multiple times and experienced weather extremes between 0°c in Zeebrugge to 32°c in Singapore.

The other barrel, named the Sister Cask, remained in Melbourne and continued to mature in the distillery's bond store as the control cask.

After an entire year at sea and possibly the longest journey a whisky barrel has ever seen, she returned. Sporting a weathered charm and some extremely interesting and rare whisky inside.

All proceeds from this charity auction will be split equally between two charities:

Scarf is an Australian social enterprise that gets young people into jobs while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. It partners with great Melbourne restaurants and other hospitality businesses to run awesome, hands-on hospitality training, mentoring and paid work experience programs. Scarf trainees are keen, resilient people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have faced barriers to employment. Scarf volunteer mentors are hospitality professionals who work closely with the trainees to grow their skills, knowledge, confidence and connections. Together, they create a hospitality industry with more opportunities, more diversity and more equity. (Scarf Community Organisation ABN 58 145 518 583).

The Benevolent is the trade charity for people who are currently working, or have worked, in the UK drinks industry in any role and in any trade sector. The Benevolent is the only charity that supports employees, or former employees, from every area of the UK drinks industry providing practical, emotional and financial help. The charity supports colleagues facing a variety of difficult circumstances, including serious illness, disability, mental health difficulties, issues with debt or any family crisis such as a seriously ill partner or child. (The Benevolent; the Drinks Industry Charity Registered Charity No 1023376ww).

The online auction was held in June 2019.



  • Starward X Cunard, The Seafarer Twin Pack
    2 x 50cl / 54%
    Set Numbers 1-8
    Total Hammer Price: £4,700

    The Cunard Seafarer Twin Pack is the product of a special partnership between Starward and Cunard designed to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s inaugural home porting season in Australia.

    Filled on the same day, both the Seafarer and its Sister Cask were initially aged in 225L French oak barrique barrels for two and a half years in Melbourne’s highly reactive climate. From there, one barrel, named the Seafarer, circumnavigated the globe for a year aboard Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, departing 28 February 2018 and travelling 95000 nautical miles, crossing the equator multiple times and experiencing weather extremes between 0°C in Zeebrugge to 32° in Singapore.

    Meanwhile, the other barrel, named the Sister Cask, remained in Melbourne and continued to mature in bond as the control cask.

    A total of 110 Seafarer Twin Packs at 48% ABV were produced and sold online through the Starward webstore and at the distillery bar in Port Melbourne. Only 10 Seafarer Twin Packs at cask strength of 54% ABV were ever produced.

    Each twin pack includes

    Seafarer Cask 50cl 54% ABV
    Sister Cask 50cl 54% ABV
    A Starward Pin
    Wooden box

    Tasting Notes

    The Seafarer The Sister Cask
    Colour Vivid sunset orange Rich copper Gold
    Nose Soft aroma of marzipan, apricot, red apple, currants and baked spices Baked sweet biscuit, berry compote, orchard fruit and delicate allspice
    Palate Warming with French oak spice and mildly salted berries Full, pear, cookie dough and fresh oak leading to a dry, berry laden finish
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