Westward Whisky is launching its third permanent expression in Australia with the introduction of Westward Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask.
Available in Westward’s striking new bottle and Westward’s Head Distiller, Miles Munroe told The Shout that the whiskey pays homage to Westward’s north-west provenance as well as the climate and winemaking close to its Oregon home.
“Single malt is something that has always paired well with a wine finish and we have all these world class winemakers right here, so creating this whiskey wasn’t just for the sake of experimentation or innovation, we truly believe this is another way to express flavour in single malts,” Munroe said.
He added: “We had tried Tempranillo finish, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Pinot Noir winemakers in this area, really subscribe to terroir. We have this interesting soil here, we’re in a valley between two mountain ranges and it’s a lot of old volcanic soil, which is very unique.
“So a lot of winemakers are really interested in the geology here and they want a lot of that soil coming through the vines and into the grape, which makes the Pinot Noir really unique. We’ve finished our original Westward in these Pinot casks for two years and it brings this bold vibrancy to the whiskey that we love.”
The whiskey comes in the striking new bottle, which Munroe talked to The Shout about: “It really does stand out. For the longest time Westward was in this tapered bottle shape, almost austere in its colour choices and now I love this new look.
“I think the new bottle tells the story a lot better of who we are, what we’re about, where we are headed with this whiskey. It does stand out on the shelf, and as the maker I hate to admit how much the bottle makes a difference, but it really does.
“We’ve worked with a great design team and it’s a tremendous bottle. I love how the shoulders are reminiscent of the mountain range that really does overlook the city and exemplifies our skyline and the bottle is a great introduction to who we are, and also to where we are.”
The Pinot Noir Cask joins Westward’s original American Single Malt and Oregan Stout Cask Whiskey as part of the permanent range in Australia, and Munroe explained why Australia was the first export market for Westward.
“Talk about an appreciation for single malt, I can’t think of any other place [we’d go to first] it’s just at the top of the list. As someone who’s appreciated whisky for so long and loving Lark, loving Sullivan’s Cove and seeing Starward coming up, Australia makes some great single malts.
“So just knowing there’s an appreciation there was a big part and aside from Australia having its own amazing single malt scene with people wanting to try something new, wanting to know what is out there and being really interested in what other craft makers are up to is a great part of Australia. So we knew right away it was going to be the first place.”
Westward Pinot Noir Cask Finish, with tasting notes that describe sweet and fruity aroma, followed by a deep rich and nutty malt taste with hints of hazelnut, plum and vanilla, is available now for independent retailers.