Fill your whiskey glass this evening with the Cascades. The area is known for its vineyards, but Westward Whiskeys’ loyalty to the West brought these two industries together. Let’s dive into this single malt whiskey, what makes the Westward Way — and their American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask Whiskey — unique.
Single Malt Distillation
For a whiskey to be considered a single malt, the grain used must be 100% malted barley, at a sole distillery, and aged in an oak cask for a minimum of 3 years. A single malt can blend whiskeys from separate casks, but they all must come from the same distillery.
The Westward Whiskey Way
The Westward Whiskey way follows the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission’s standards and then goes a step further to highlight the American West’s fruitful vineyards. Westward Whiskey begins its journey to becoming an American single malt with 100% two-row barley. Two-row, preferred for its lower protein content and high sugar (great for fermentation), is grown and malted in the Pacific Northwest and produced exclusively in the Westward distillery in Portland, Oregon.
The American Single Malt Whiskey Commission states that aging must occur in oak barrels, but the barrels’ newness and general condition are entirely up to the distiller. The Westward Way uses lightly charred, new American Oak barrels exclusively for maturation. Distilled in pot-stills to 142 proof and matured to 90 proof or 45% ABV, these parameters exceed the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission’s requirements.
Safe to say, the Westward American Single Malt Whiskey compliments the influence of pinot noir casks of the famous Willamette and Cascade valley vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.
Pinot Noir Cask Whiskey
Oregon is known for its pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris grape varietals, and the Willamette Valley is responsible for 88% of Oregon’s pinot noir. Willamette Valley subdivides into different regions, and flavor profiles vary accordingly.
Following the Westward Way, the distillery partnered with award-winning producers in this region and used French oak pinot noir casks to mature its original Westward American Single Malt Whiskey into the Westward Pinot Noir Cask Single Malt Whiskey.
Uncasking the single malt releases aromatic notes of apricot, plum, and chocolate. The flavor profile gathers hints of golden apple, plantain, nutmeg upfront; it finishes in a subtly sweet melange of raisin, dark stone fruits, and sweet malt.
Sommelier Meets Distiller
Plenty of distillers have reused wine casks for limited edition whiskeys and luxury barrel bourbons but rarely do you see the production manifest from a single local area. Westward Whiskey distinguishes its position in American Single Malt Whiskey’s realm and pays homage to the Willamette Valley as a world-class destination for wine connoisseurs and sommeliers.
The Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask Whiskey is available for $90. Save yourself a trip to the liquor store and order the Westward Pinot Noir Cask online now; this collaboration between industries in the PNW surely deserves a place in your whiskey glass.