A Brave New Tradition in Single Malt Whiskey, Thoughtfully Made in the Pacific Northwest
A New Category of Single Malt
Inspired in large part by the world-class natural ingredients available in the State of Washington, Westland is leading the emerging category of American Single Malt Whiskey. With each expression, the distillery stands tall alongside its peers from around the world—distilleries from Japan to India, Taiwan to New Zealand that are now proving that first-class single malt can indeed be found outside the borders of Scotland.
The Scale of Ambitions
Westland has more in common with single malt distilleries in those other regions than the craft distilleries of America. Set in the heart of downtown Seattle, it is one of the largest (if not the largest) single malt distilleries in the country. Its core portfolio of whiskeys—the flagship American Single Malt Whiskey, a Peated Malt and a Sherry Wood expression—deliver a uniquely American style that rivals the finest whiskeys in the world. Regular special releases and single cask bottlings serve to further establish Westland at the forefront of a new regional style on the world stage. The facility itself is home to a 5,000-liter mash house that operates full-time, seven days a week, to fill 10,000-liter fermenters. In the still room, the stillmen perform a traditional double distillation on a 7,560-liter wash still and a 5,670-liter spirit still. Westland fills into a variety of full-size oak casks including two types of new American oak, ex-bourbon casks and also ex-sherry casks imported fresh and whole from Montilla, Spain. Once filled, all of the distillery's whiskeys are brought to the coast of Washington State, where the temperate and humid climate of the rainforest offers an ideal environment for the maturation of whiskey.
The Westland endeavor is one that lives up to the heritage of the region and the ambitions of its forefathers. Like them, the whiskey makers at Westland now step confidently in a new direction, free from the confines of convention. While they honor the traditions of single malt whiskey, they also embrace the opportunity to add something new and distinctly American at the same time. The character of Westland's whiskies offer a wealth of flavor profiles to a broad range of single malts. Regardless of the individual expression, though, every whiskey at Westland is underscored by the distillery's identifiable house style—a sweetness and ease on the palate, accompanied by a fruity and complex but ultimately grain-focused finish worthy of its place in this new world.
- Craft Producer of the Year - Icons of Whisky, 2016
The flagship expression of Westland's American Single Malt Whiskey represents the truest expression of the distillery's house style. At the core of this whiskey's flavor profile is a grain bill comprised of five different roasted and kilned barley malts, giving the whiskey a character unique to Westland Distillery. The base is a pale malt grown in the state of Washington. Additional specialty malts that are deep and rich in flavors contribute to the whiskey notes of chocolate, nuts, cookies, pastries, mocha and raisins. The distillery's Belgian brewer's yeast further enhances the flavor development, creating fruity esters during fermentation. And finally, maturing predominantly in the finest new American oak casks complements Master Distiller Matt Hofmann's other choices with vanilla, caramel and coconut notes, leaving us with an approachable and mature whiskey. 46% ABV
- Chairman's Trophy, 96 Points - Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2016
- Gold Medal - ACSA American Craft Spirits Awards, 2015
- Gold Medal - ADI Spirit Competition, 2015
- "While classified on paper as an American Craft Distiller, I would submit, given the flavor profiles and the fact that Westland Distillery produces Single Malt and nothing else, that Westland Distillery (from a world perspective) be ranked up there with other great world producers of single malt whisky a la Nikka, Suntory, Amrut, Kavalan, Lark, Brenne, etc. Westland Distillery's focus is on producing and bottling world-class single malt whisk(e)y and in my opinion they have a great grasp of the craft!" - Joshua Hatton, JewMalt.com
While Westland's Peated Malt expression accounts for just 20% of the distillery's annual production, the first whiff of smoke from the mash tun tends to be the most anticipated moment of the year. This peated whiskey is unique in that it's a vatting of two separate New Make spirits. The first is a mash of peated malt, among the smokiest produced in the new world (55ppm phenol content). The second comes from a mash of 100% Washington Select pale malt. When brought together, they create a single malt whiskey encompassing a wide spectrum of peaty and smoky flavors without overwhelming the palate. The peat character is sturdy enough to satisfy the cravings of those looking for a solid dose of smoke, while the pale malt component contributes grainy and fruity notes for those looking for something more familiar in the glass. Westland's Peated Malt is filled into a variety of oak, including first-fill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, encouraging a controlled and even maturation. The result is a flavorful, multi-dimensional yet balanced peated single malt. 46% ABV
The nose starts off with crunchy peanut butter, smoldering campfire and honey on a biscuit. The smoke from the campfire leaps out on the initial palate along with pistachio, almond and oloroso sherry. With time, the campfire transitions into smoldering earth and leather on the nose. Over the course of the tasting, the palate moves into dark, earthy herbs and spices. Peat iodine, anise, bing cherry and peanut butter remain on the finish.
- Finalist, 95 Points - Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2016
- Double Gold Medal - WSWA Tasting Competition, 2016
- Gold Medal, Best of Class - ADI Spirit Competition, 2015
Westland Sherry Wood single malt whiskey is a story of return. Westland matures this whiskey in casks that began their lives in the deep forests of the American South before making a long journey across the ocean and back again. It was in Spain where the oak was first bent into staves for casks that would hold Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry for nearly a century. Once emptied, they were given new life and purpose in the skilled hands of Rafael Cabello and his team at Tonelería del Sur in Montilla, Spain. Westland’s long-standing partnership with his family-owned cooperage provides us with one of the largest supplies of sherry casks in the new world—casks that lend the whiskey a decadence that intensifies both the malt and fruit notes indicative of our house style. 46% ABV
Soft pancakes with maple syrup leads on the nose, closely followed by oatmeal raisin cookies and a selection of stewed yellow and green fruits. The palate adds some grapefruit to the pancake breakfast while the oatmeal raisin cookies begin to share the plate with some gingersnap cookies. With time in the glass, dried mango and star fruit emerge with a touch of kiwi to round things off.
- Double Gold Medal - ADI Spirit Competition, 2015
- 90 Points, Gold Medal, Exceptional - International Review of Spirits, 2015
- 95 Points - Wine Enthusiast, 2015
Garryana is the first edition of Westland’s new Native Oak Series. This American Single Malt Whiskey features a component whiskey matured in a species of white oak unique to the Pacific Northwest called Quercus garryana. Historically, Quercus garryana has not been employed in the maturation of whiskey, but exploring it in a single malt from the Pacific Northwest is natural and authentic. In this first edition, just 2,500 bottles of Garryana will be available. 56.2% ABV