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The Romance Continues | Blog #120

Continuing on with their themed festival bottling’s the guys at Jewish Whisky company collaborated with the Westland Distillery in Seattle (very fitting). These festival whiskies have now become very sought after and collectible and with only 150 bottles available of this expression I know it will go fast.

“This whisky was designed as a follow on from the New York Jewbilee Westland Single Malt which was a vatting of 4 casks using 100% Washington Barley, Peated barley and Westlands unique 5 barley mashbill.”

At the time of bottling  for New York Westland filled 100 liters of the vatting into a 1st fill Bourbon cask where it has been aging for a further 9 months bringing all the complexity together. One thing for sure the Jewish whisky company guys really think ahead.

Westland Single Malt – bottled at the cask strength of 58.1% and only 150 bottles available.

Colour:     Deep reddish hue

Nose:     Sweet smoked beef jerky and pipe tobacco, makes me long for a cigar on the deck by the BBQ. A big tray of sugared fruit jellies sits in the background.

Palate:     Soft earthy tones and rich dark chocolate swirl around layers of heavy fruit syrup – the kind you have left over after the jar of preserved peaches are gone. It coats the tongue in the same way and is unctuous and chewy.

Finish:     Lingering on with some glazed pineapple and a touch of ginger along with canned mandarin pieces and the continuous hint of underlying earth.

This is a fabulous dram and shows the Westland distillery as a major contender in the craft distilling stakes in the US.

As those of you know that read my blog regularly I love unique whisky/ey and this is a great example of a small distillery making something with care and attention to detail. A big departure from the Chicago bottling which was really crazy but good this Westland harkens back to a somewhat more traditional single malt composition albeit with a unique combination of different barley.

“If the Jewish whisky company continues to nail these fun festival whiskey’s I will be lining up to get my bottle.”

Next festival is the New York original now in it’s 5th year on the 15th June. If you have the chance make sure you get your tickets early as it is always sold out.

With the Single Cask Nation launching into Canada some insider information from a reliable source mentioned that the new new Jewbilee festival could be held in Alberta in 2018. Stay tuned for more.

Next week we will have a taste of something new to Alberta.

Have a great week!


Springtime Seattle Sipping | Blog #119

Heading to Seattle for the inaugural Whisky Jewbilee was an exciting prospect. Especially when you consider that Washington State and particularly Seattle is fast becoming a major whisky hub in the US.

“Over 20 distillers just in the city limits meant that we were sure to experience some innovative and delicious drams during the course of the night.”

Checking into the amazing Arctic Club Hilton Doubletree were we availed ourselves of the fantastic bar and a great selection of local whiskey including J.P. Trodden Bourbon. Wow absolutely delicious. Watch this space.

Held at another cool warehouse district space “Within Sodo” the Jewbilee event boasted 200 whiskies and the best event catered food lineup that I have ever experienced. Cindy and I didn’t have enough time to get around to all the tables but were able to really spend some great time with a few.

Arctic Club Seattle Photo by Kirk Mastin Arctic Club Seattle Photo by Kirk Mastin

Heritage Distilling right in Seattle had some really interesting drams including a 90% Rye aged in a barrel used for aging Vanilla. Really cool stuff! Seattle Distillery had their whiskey front and center and also sneaked their really lovely gin under the table for a lavender infused smoothness that had to be tried to be believed.

With St Patrick’s Day coming up it was apt for us to spend some time at Tullamore Dew table and try out their new release Trinity. Really balanced and delicious, something Cindy instantly loved. Would be a pleasant sipper and make some brilliant cocktails.

A hidden gem under the table by Chris Uhde of JVS was probably the winner of the night. A 24 year old Littlemill from Exclusive Casks. I’m glad that it was my first dram of the night so that I could truly appreciate the depth of this whisky. Thanks Chris! 🙂

“No Jewbilee festival would not be complete without a trip to the Single Cask Nation table where Jason was holding sway with a never ending lineup of festival goers.”

 The Festival bottling was a Single Malt from the Westland Distillery and of course like every other festival bottling there is a real story to be told. Stay tuned next week as I get in depth with it and fill you in on the background and my own tasting notes. Thanks to Jason and Joshua for the bottle as a matching pair to go with my Chicago festival book end. A sherried Bruichladdie and an undisclosed Islay were both new releases (coming to Alberta soon) and both outstanding single casks.

Time to whip upstairs for a cigar from San Juan Cigars of Seattle. Hand Rolled, pressed and dried from premium tobacco these cigars are excellent. We were able to watch a Robusto being made and then added to the press. Unlike other events where people can smoke a freshly rolled cigar that San Juan Cigars considers “unfinished” at Jewbilee they had plenty of options to try these exquisitely made cigars after going through all the stages of careful crafting.

Next time I am in Seattle I might need to grab a box.

“Antiques, crafts, chocolate cherries and of course the amazing seafood and fresh produce found at the markets make a strong case for returning as soon as possible.”

With the whiskey event complete and another day to fill in Seattle Cindy and I checked out some great foodie spots at the Pike Place Markets including World of Spice Merchants (a must visit). Lunch at Place Pigalle restaurant overlooking the sound with some of the best serving staff I have ever experienced was a treat. Fresh Mussels always leaves a good impression.

World Spice Merchants World Spice Merchants

We wrapped up a perfect visit with dinner at the Pink Door where we were entertained with a prohibition era trio that were incredibly talented.

The Pink Door Restaurant The Pink Door Restaurant

Thanks Jason and Joshua for including Seattle in your Jewbilee schedule we are hoping we can make it an annual trip.

Next week as promised the Westland festival bottling by Single Cask Nation.

Until then…


Cover photo by Scott Gardner