Popular American single malt whiskey producer, Westward, has launched a new expression in Australia, with the release of Westward Oregon Stout Cask Whiskey.
Based in the heart of US craft beer territory, Westward has used its connections to the local beer industry to create a whiskey which has been finished in casks which have previously held Oregon stout.
As with all Westward Whiskies the Oregon Stout begins as an American Pale Ale using locally malted barley, ale yeast, and a slow, low temperature fermentation. The distilling team are all ex-brewers, including Head Distiller Miles Munroe, who hosted a virtual tasting earlier this week.
Speaking about the development of this whiskey, Munroe said: “Oregon Stout Cask was born from our love of beer and our refusal to remove ourselves from our brewing roots. There’s a local brewery here, where I used to work called Migration and every holiday season they make this amazing Belgian Chocolate Imperial Stout, it’s just a delicious beer. It’s a big beer too, almost 12 per cent.
“Their Head Brewer reached out and asked if I had any whiskey barrels I could lend to them and this is something we get asked a lot, so I sent them a barrel. But then we got to thinking that the core expression of Westward has such a great chocolatey, toasty character to it that we thought it would go really well with a stout.
“So we got that barrel back from Migration and I took a four year Westward and aged it in that barrel for another year. Then when we took it out, it was absolutely fantastic, we were all blown away with how good it was. So we decided to make it as a second expression and that is where the whiskey was born.”
The whiskey is rich and robust with notes of roasted grain, stone fruit, toasted pecan, milk chocolate and has a bold, dry finish. The Westward Whiskey Stout Cask received a Gold Medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Thomas Mooney, Founder and CEO, Westward Whiskey, added: “The abundance of the Northwest yields the best raw materials and attracts the best craftspeople, and Westward brings together the power of both in one of the most iconic beer-producing regions in the world; Westward American Single Malt Oregon Stout Cask is our tribute to just that.
“Given our team’s passion for brewing and our close relationships with our Northwest brewing partners, it was a natural progression to create a Stout Cask Finish, which adds a discernible hint of chocolate that perfectly accentuates the signature toasted malty notes of our prized flagship American Single Malt.”
Imported and distributed by Think Spirits in Australia, Westward Whiskey Stout Cask will be available from May, 2020 in select retailers.