GSN Review: Westland Distillery Coldfoot Whiskey

Seattle-based companies Westland Distillery and C.C. Filson Co. recently announced a new collaboration, entitled Coldfoot, a reference that harkens to the 1800s’ Klondike Gold Rush and evokes the spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Coldfoot is a limited-edition American Single Malt Whiskey from Westland and a collection of new branded outdoor goods created by Filson.

“Westland and Filson are cut from the same cloth,” says Matt Hofmann, Co-Founder and Master Distiller at Westland. “Both brands make real things in time-honored ways with an integrity that comes from understanding the essence of the Pacific Northwest at an elemental level. We’ve been long-time friends and partners and it’s great to finally collaborate to create something as exciting as Coldfoot.”

In the late 1800s, the fever of the Klondike Gold Rush consumed the world and captured the imaginations of a generation. Seattle served as the starting and ending point for a harrowing journey north and back—an expedition that gave rise not only to enduring outdoor outfitter brands like Filson, but also an intrinsic pioneering mentality that still defines the Pacific Northwest to this day. The vast majority of prospectors took the well-trodden path to the boomtown of Dawson, Alaska. But not all followed the herd. A small group of ambitious prospectors followed a different path that headed even further north, into even more rugged territory to a camp called Coldfoot. Of the 2,000 “green hands” that set out on the stampede, only 200 stuck it out to stake a claim there. The rest got “cold feet.”

“The story of the stampede to remote Coldfoot is a perfect symbol of the grit, perseverance, and ambition this region has imprinted onto both our brands,” says Alex Carleton, Filson’s Chief Creative Officer. “While Filson and Westland are each dedicated to our own paths, we share that common spirit. Our brands are rooted in the opening of the West and the sensibilities it takes to not only survive here, but thrive in what are the outer edges of the known world.”

Coldfoot Whiskey (100 proof)
Visual: Gold.
Nose: Rich, enveloping nose of heavy oak and medium char. Cinnamon stick, pipe tobacco, old honey, whole grain toast.
Taste: Warm and smooth with a easy entry of toffee and malt. Well rounded and filled with a lot of mid-range flavors, this whiskey has a friendly persona.
Finish: Medium long. The ending notes are slightly sweet, with a soft caramel touch.
Overall: If I were looking for a whiskey to take with me on a prospecting tour, this would be the one. Self assured, down to earth and perfectly aged.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Westland Distillery & Filson

GSN Review: Westland Garryana American Single Malt Whiskey


Recently, Seattle’s Westland Distillery and San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Company released the first in Westland’s Native Oak Series: Garryana American Single Malt Whiskey, which features a component whiskey matured in Quercus garryana, a species of white oak unique to the Pacific Northwest.

“This oak is extremely rare and it’s a unique opportunity we’ve been given to use it to make whiskey,” says Westland’s Master Distiller Matt Hofmann, who is dedicated to exploring the intersection of single malt whiskey production and Pacific Northwest terroir. “It’s a really fascinating species of oak and certainly one of the most charismatic I have ever worked with.”

In this first edition, just 2,500 bottles of Garryana will be available in limited distribution nationwide and in select overseas markets. Future editions in the Native Oak Series will be released in 2017 and beyond.

Garryana American Single Malt Whiskey (112.4 proof)
Visual: Bright yellow-gold.
Nose: Open and vista-like with a ton of high notes.  Much like a Highland Scotch, there is a slight smokiness that tops off the woodiness.  Almost like week-old campfire smoke on a fall pullover.
Taste: Sweet on the entry, this quickly cools down  into a serious and tonal whiskey with a lot of meatiness and body.  The Garryana wood has a tannic and dry cinnamon edge that hits the back of the palate and stays for minutes.  Everything is tightly bundled in flavor, whereas the nose is more of an adventure seeker.
Finish: Long with coffee bean notes and bittersweet chocolate finishing things off.
Overall: Another very fine whiskey from Westland and one that any collector should grab a bottle of soon, before they’re gone forever.  Actually, get two.  One to cellar and one to share with special friends.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Westland Distillery