This must surely be the ultimate gift for whiskey lovers: a fine American whiskey delicately infused with the flavours of a classic Australian muscat. In the first collaboration of its kind, Oregon whiskey producer Westward has teamed up with Australia’s Stanton & Killeen Wines to produce this luxury product.
Westward Whiskey Vintage Muscat Cask is available exclusively through The Whisky Club (which is free to join online) from December 1. Westward and the club have worked closely together since Westward launched into the Australian market in 2019.
Inspired by the culture, climate, and natural ingredients of the American Northwest, Westward has something of a cult following in the world of whiskey. Founders Thomas Mooney and Christian Krogstad are leaders in the American craft spirits community, taking the best of craft ale and whiskey traditions, brewing their product like a craft ale, distilling it like a single malt, and aging it like a Bourbon.
Stanton & Killeen Wines is held in similarly high regard, with mother-daughter team Wendy and Natasha Killeen drawing on seven generations and 148 years of family winemaking experience. As well as producing flavoursome Rutherglen reds and alternative Portuguese varieties, they turn out award-winning fortifieds like their Classic Muscat, a blend of muscat with a minimum 12 years of age.
Casks used in the production of the Classic Muscat were sent to the U.S. for Westward to use in this exciting project. Many years in the making, the project began when Australian retailer The Whisky Club sought out the perfect combination of producers to create a truly remarkable whiskey. (The club offers members premium exclusive whisky not available anywhere else in Australia and often the world.)
Tradition combined with innovation
Westward begins production by brewing an artisanal American ale from scratch using locally malted barley, ale yeast, and slow, low-temperature fermentation. The fresh, flavourful ale is then distilled twice in custom low-reflux pot stills to be transformed into whiskey.
Once it is matured in new, lightly charred American Oak barrels, Westward’s Original Whiskey is then transferred into Stanton & Killeen Vintage Muscat casks for a further year of maturation. Oregon’s four distinct seasons matures the whiskey beautifully and the muscat casks deliver added complexity and richness.
The result is a nuanced, bold and delicious product, 52.5% proof, with aromas of apricot, lychee, cocoa and butterscotch, and Christmas pudding flavours of toffee, raisin, dried fig, citrus, mocha, vanilla, and candied nuts. With this nod to the festive season, it makes the ultimate gift for whiskey lovers, beginners, aficionados, and everyone in between. Enjoy it neat, on the rocks, or paired with festive foods like plum pudding.
Westward Whiskey Vintage Muscat Cask sells for $145 and is only available to members of The Whisky Club. The club is free to join at www.thewhiskyclub.com.au
For more information about Westward Whiskey, visit www.westwardwhiskey.com