Welcome to the most exclusive blind whiskey tasting experience.
Distillery: Westward Whiskey
Name: American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask
Proof: 90 Proof (45% ABV)
Age Statement: No age statement, After aging, whiskey is finished in a Pinot Noir cask for an additional 2 years
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Color/Appearance: Rose gold
Aroma Notes: Plum, apricot, leather, chocolate ganache, floral, bright wine, sour candy, spicy street corn with lime (eloté), fig newtons, raisins, grape nuts cereal.
Tasting Notes: Raspberry tart, blackberry jam, warm and fertile soil, golden delicious apple, plantains, nutmeg.
Finish: Dry wood, rich, raisin, light roast coffee, light peppercorn and spice on the back end.
As you drink this, there is a new category of whiskey being created in the United States, the first addition to our alcohol laws in over 30 years! American Single Malt Whiskey has been on the rise for quite some time, and it will finally have its own designation, alongside things such as Bourbon and Rye Whiskey.
However, Westward Whiskey has been making their version of American Single Malt Whiskey for almost 20 years! Based in Portland, OR, they approach whiskey from a brewer’s perspective, working to front-load their flavor in the distillate itself, letting the raw ingredients shine through. To make their whiskey, they brew it like a pale ale (using brewer’s yeast and brewer’s pale malt from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.), distill it like a scotch (using a pot still set-up), and age it like a bourbon (using new, charred-oak casks), crafting a spirit tailor-made for the American palate.
Their Pinot Noir Cask finished product is a wonderful example of the heights their whiskey can rise to. Their robust, rich, heavy-bodied whiskey interacts so well with the lighter Pinot Noir to produce a wonderfully balanced and fruity dram. Those from Oregon consider Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs on par with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons or French Bordeauxs, and Westward demonstrates their pride in their region with this choice of a finishing cask! We are proud to bring you this “Single Malt Reimagined”.
Westward Whiskey began in 2004, when Founder & Master Distiller Christian Krogstad, a former brewer and winemaker, had a vision: to make a distinctive American Single Malt inspired by the American Northwest. Having long revered the history and tradition of whiskey-making around the world, he sought out to make something entirely new, and Westward Whiskey was born.
At the time, there were only three dozen craft distilleries in the U.S. Today, helmed by Christian and Thomas Mooney, who joined the team as Founder & CEO in 2011 to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a whiskey entrepreneur, Westward is a proud leader among more than 2,200 producers.
From humble beginnings to its impressive footprint today, creating a bold, robust, and delicious whiskey has remained the team’s true passion. For more than two decades, they’ve proudly served as a leading voice for American Single Malt.
Distillery: Bad Dog Distillery
Name: Single Barrel Bourbon
Proof: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
Age Statement: 3 years old
Mashbill: 82% corn, 18% malted barley
Color/Appearance: Burnt amber
Aroma Notes: Strawberry, grape soda, raw grain, corn pudding, lemon butter.
Tasting Notes: Fruity, oak, semi-dark chocolate, tobacco, caramel, herbal (thyme and basil), graham crackers, wet hay, mills wafer.
Finish: Medium, drying, smoked meat.
Our Take: Two things pretty much every American loves are dogs and family-run businesses. Bad Dog Distillery, located about an hour north of Seattle, combines both of these! Named after Hank, their lovable hound who has a penchant for mischief, this boot-strapped small business is as full of character as their whiskey. Master Distiller Dave McGlothern has a wealth of experience, from making horseshoes to butchering bears to running an excavator operation, and he partners with his wife Shelly to use all their skills to run their distillery. Using information from the moonshiners in their family history, Dave literally built their still set-up by hand, using a bowling ball to pound out the roof of the pot still! Bad Dog Distillery relentlessly pursues innovation in everything they do, considering themselves the rebels of the industry, and we love both their can-do attitude and their Single Barrel Bourbon.
Hank isn’t a bad dog per se, but he sure is something! His nickname was earned through some questionable actions though. You know, the things that bad dogs do: chasing rocks down hills, enjoying a good roll through the mud or even better, a dead animal. Regardless of his antics he has a couple very important identifiers: Dave McGlothern’s faithful companion, and the namesake of Bad Dog Distillery. In 2012 Dave and wife, Shelly, decided it was time to do something worth doing, and with that realization, they came up with putting together a local distillery in Snohomish County, Washington. Hailing from the rural area of Bryant, just North of Arlington, they decided to grow something at home. Shelly and Dave are proud to have Bad Dog Distillery as a local business ready to provide quality product and charitable efforts to their community.
The goals of Bad Dog Distillery are no different. Shelly and Dave have worked hard to perfect excellent liquors for everyone in the area to enjoy. They aim to not only provide a product, but to give a sense of pride and togetherness to the community via their business. Bad Dog Distillery will go hand in hand with community efforts which Shelly and Dave graciously donate their time and money to.
Everybody is invited to the Bad Dog tasting room to test the waters. Kick back and enjoy their homemade liquors and enjoy the kind of environment that makes Snohomish County great. They hope to see you there!
Distillery: Re:Find Distillery
Name: Rye Whiskey Batch #12
Proof: 93 Proof (46.5% ABV)>
Age Statement: 36 months aged in 15 gallon barrels
Mashbill: Proprietary mash bill of rye, wheat, barley (Firestone Walker Custom Mash Bill)
Color/Appearance: Light caramel
Aroma Notes: Honey, licorice, brown sugar, bright herbs and spices, tropical fruit, pear, condensed lavender, cedar, Midsummer Yankee Candle™.
Tasting Notes: Mint, clove, dried apricots, rosemary, green tea with citrus, dark chocolate, pleasant texture.
Finish: Medium and satisfying, dark chocolate, and minerals.
Re:Find Distillery is crafting artisan spirits from grape/grain to bottle in the heart of Paso Robles wine country. Proprietors/Distillers, Alex & Monica Villicana, believe in transparency in their distilling practices and the authenticity of the ingredients distilled. In doing so, what was once a conversation about how many times a spirit is distilled and filtered is now a discussion on the quality of both the ingredients and fermentation, and what each brings to the final product.
Re:Find only uses natural ingredients and stands tall among craft distillers by being committed to crafting their spirits from fermentation to bottle. From growing some of the raw materials themselves, to sourcing from organic farms, to fermenting, distilling, aging, and hand bottling, Alex & Monica do it all!
Re:Find Distillery was derived from the Villicanas’ desire to be more sustainable in their winery (Villicana Winery). Re:Find Distillery was founded on the concept of using the prized saignée (free-run juice) that boutique wineries begrudgingly discard during the winemaking process, fermenting it, and distilling it. This practice allows Re:Find to reclaim approximately 60-acres of premium Paso Robles wine grapes each year through their distillery. That's a lot of water, fuel, and manpower being repurposed into a premium spirit.
Re:Find Distillery firmly believes in honest, authentic, and transparent distilling practices. Re:Find is dedicated to working with California family farmers, artisan brewers, and boutique vintners to obtain and highlight their labor of love by crafting it into well-balanced, full-flavored spirits with lots of layering and a distinct finish. Starting with high quality, unprocessed, seasonally sourced, natural ingredients and paying close attention to our stills, they are able to bottle their spirits unfiltered. After all, if the spirits are derived from high quality materials, go through a clean fermentation, and use only the ethyl alcohol, they shouldn't have to be filtered!
Distillery: Tamar Distillery
Name: Mendocino Spirits Captain Fletcher’s Private Reserve Rye Malt
Proof: 94.6 (47.3% ABV)
Age Statement: 8 years (6 in cognac cask)
Mashbill: 100% malted rye
Color/Appearance: Deep gold
Aroma Notes: Butter, chocolate, toast, green malt, dried fruits, clover, funky rainwater, spicy green tea, caramelized sugar, cherry turnover.
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, spice, floral, nutty, oak, almond joy, peach cobbler, malted grains, dark chocolate, currants, figs.
Finish: Rounded, rich, subtle spice, fruit leather, hints of oak and caramel with dry dark chocolate at the end.
Located in Northern California, Crispin Cain and Tamar Kaye, founders of Tamar Distillery, bring a unique set of skills to the table! Crispin, the Master Distiller, has 4 decades of wine and spirits experience, apprenticing with California Brandy legend Hubert Germain-Robin before founding his own operation. Tamar, a biodynamic gardener, lends her superb palate to the spirits-creating process, and uses her marketing skills to promote the excellent products Crispin distills.
Crispin uses Cognac stills to produce their spirits, drawing upon his extensive knowledge in the brandy-making tradition. This style, especially when paired with their use of Cognac casks for finishing and the 100% malted rye mashbill, creates a one-of-a-kind spirit. The Captain Fletcher Private Reserve Rye honors a local hero in their community, a man who aided Native Americans and whose front porch was always open to anyone in need. This whiskey perfectly embodies Crispin’s motto: “It takes spirit to make spirit.”
Tamar Distillery Inc./ Mendocino Spirits was founded in 2008, where we make an excellent variety of spirits using ancient methods learned during a lengthy apprenticeship with a brandy master from Cognac. Master Distiller Crispin Cain applies the old double distillation method used in Cognac for over 500 years to make all their products. This allows him to select only the heart of the spirit to save for aging, blending, and drinking, lending a particularly high quality to the finished products.
Crispin oversees all aspects of production and has been working in wine and spirits since 1983. He moved to Mendocino County in 1985 to get more involved in winemaking. In 1989, Crispin went to work for the brandy master, Hubert Germain-Robin, as the assistant distiller.
As Crispin tells it, “While I worked for Germain-Robin Brandy, I had a vision of making fine whiskey here in Northern California, one which expresses the simple beauty of clean air, clean water, and tall trees, while capturing the complexity of malted grains from a variety of local and classic sources.”
“I create whiskies using the time honored traditions of Cognac, keen attention to fermentation, the Charentais Pot Still, the double distillation method, brought to barreling strength with filtered rain water, choosing fine barrels to match fine spirits.”
Carefully selecting the distillate which becomes Mendocino Spirits. Crispin’s accomplishments can be found in each bottle of Mendocino Spirits, and his whiskey is a continuing source of accolades and pride.
Tamar Kaye, is a Native of Mendocino County, California. She has pursued a life of Gardening and Art. She has been gardening since she was a child, and has worked as a professional gardener since 1994. Tamar and Crispin incorporated Tamar Distillery Inc. in 2009. She has a beautifully trained palate and a wonderful talent for creating the finest of yummy things, from Rose Liqueur to Whiskey, and is essential in the creation of their Spirit expressions.