No rye whiskey. Not bourbon whiskey. No corn whiskey either. Westward is American single malt. This makes the whiskey from Portland, Oregon, one of the categories that is on the rise. About time, one asks Westward. The Craft Distillery is one of the founding members of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission. Founded in 2016 by 16 distilleries, the association is working on establishing legal standards for the US category of single malts in line with Scotland, among others.
100 percent barley malt, distilled in a single distillery in the United States to no more than 80% vol., Matured in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 700 liters and bottled with at least 40% vol. – A matter of course for the Westward Distillery, which works according to the “Grain to Glass” principle. This is also obvious because the whiskey distillery founded in 2004 by master distiller Christian Krogstad is home to the main growing area for barley in the USA.
Westward Single Malt embodies the Pacific Northwest. Defocused by the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, the region is probably one of the most beautiful in the USA. And it not only attracts with snow-capped mountain peaks, raging streams, lush forests or wildly romantic coastlines: Portland is also the heart of the American craft beer scene. This is how Westward starts single malt as a beer. More precisely as a flavor-intensive pale ale, brewed in the distillery from regional barley malt, fermented with ale yeast.
While the craft distillers like to take their time, fermenting slowly and double-distilling for maximum aromas at low temperatures, the American whiskey only needs a few years for its strong, yet balanced maturity. Responsible for this: Oregon’s own climate. Westwards Single Malt, bottled in new, slightly burnt oak barrels from the USA, unfolds between hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters – exciting climatic differences that not many distilleries are exposed to.