American single malt brand Westward comes to UK

Portland distillery Westward has signed a deal with distributor Spirit Cartel to launch its single malt American whiskeys in the UK.

The company's flagship whiskey, Westward American Single Malt, will arrive first, followed by Westward American Single Malt Oregon Stout Cask and single barrel expressions in 2020. “The demand for and interest in American whiskey in the United Kingdom and the country's appreciation for the highest quality malt whiskey represent a major opportunity for Westward American Single Malt Whiskey,” said Westward CEO and co-owner Thomas Mooney. “Westward is inspired by our home in the American Northwest, and the unique culture, climate, and natural ingredients that make Oregon the ideal place to raise a world-class malt whiskey.” Westward is described as a “provenance-driven whiskey” that uses “minimalist distilling” in order to maximize the flavour of its grains. The brand starts its production process by brewing an American pale ale using locally grown malted barley. The beer is then distilled twice in custom pot stills before the resulting spirit is aged in lightly toasted American oak barrels. David Hood, general manager of Spirit Cartel, said: “Westward American Single Malt is an exciting addition to our portfolio, especially at a time when our customers have a steadily rising interest in American whiskey. “Given Westward’s heritage as a leading voice in American distilling, and our shared love for all things malt whiskey, we know we have forged an excellent partnership and can’t wait to share the esteemed American Single Malt right here at home.” Spirit Cartel also distributes Four Roses Bourbon, James E. Pepper Rye Whiskey and Clase Azul Tequila in the UK. Westward American Single Malt is bottled at 45% ABV and will carry an RRP of £69.99 (US$90). Last year, the brand received investment from Diageo-backed unit Distill Ventures. In July this year, Westward made its Asia debut.