Westland Distillery is one of the new distilleries popping up throughout the U.S. over the last decade or so, drawing to mind the rise of craft brewing in the preceding decades. Taking a cue from the beer and coffee cultures of the Pacific Northwest, Westland uses five different malts (Washington pale ale malt, Munich malt, extra special malt, pale chocolate malt and a brown malt) along with Belgian brewer’s yeast. They are very clear in that they are trying to make a whiskey true to the region from which they come, including moving towards sourcing all their ingredients locally in the near future. These are very new whiskies, only being on the market since 2013, so we’ll be very interested to follow Westland’s growth.
Nestled in the town of Blackford and surrounded by the Ochil Hills, Tullibardine (Gaelic – lookout hill) was converted from an old brewery and began distilling in 1949, making it a relatively young distillery. Blackford is a sort of gateway to the highlands, and for many years Tullibardine simply matured their offerings in sherry casks. At some point along the way, however, the have begun taking their base offering and providing a series of different finishes in the final year of aging (currently Sauternes, Burgundy and Sherry). 228 denotes the number of liters the cask held. Burgundy is not a finish seen very often with whiskies, so we are very curious to sample this single malt.