Westward Distillery weighs in on the best American single malt whiskey

Jordan Felix of Westward Distillery in Portland, Oregon, (formerly House Spirits Distillery) and resident spirits guide for The Manual Sam Slaughter joined Greg Nibler on this episode of DT Daily to talk about The Manual Spirits Awards and the winner of The Best American Single Malt Whiskey, the Westward American Single Malt Whiskey.

Felix, a brand advocate for Westward, previously ran the Multnomah Whiskey Library for several years before coming to the Portland-based craft distiller. The sale of the company’s flagship brand, American Aviation Gin, in 2016, gave Westward the opportunity to invest in other types of spirits, namely the Westward American Single Malt Whiskey.

“We’re creating the quintessential American single malt [whiskey],” Felix said. “We’re looking at what is in [the Pacific Northwest] and harnessing the brewery culture, and utilizing the really great solid grain, and American oak.”

Westward is the first grain-to-glass whiskey distillery in Portland. The company sources the barley used for its whiskey from a local facility about 40 minutes outside of Portland and mill it on site. It is then fermented with American ale yeast out of California for its distinct flavor and matured in freshly charred American oak barrels for four to five years for added depth.

“One of my favorite parts about [the Westward Single Malt Whiskey] is that the beer flavors from when it was brewed come through really well,” Slaughter said, as the trio sampled some of the whiskey during their interview. “You’re going to smell some oak, maybe some vanilla, some of those bready kind of things, and those will translate through. It will be like you’re drinking a beer on steroids.”

For more information about the Westward Single Malt Whiskey, be sure to check out Westward Distillery’s website, and to see why Slaughter has dubbed the Westward Single Malt the best American single malt whiskey of 2018, be sure to check out the Spirit Awards on Digital Trends’ brother site, The Manual.

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