Seattle has a storied legacy of innovation, trailblazing new paths in music, cuisine, technology, and more. Now from its distillery in SoDo, Westland is bringing this same spirit to the world of whiskey.
For centuries, a well-charted tradition in whiskey has established a covenant about how it is made. In Europe, the distilleries of Scotland have set the standard and acted as the gatekeepers of single malt whiskey. But there is another, decidedly American, tradition to uphold—to challenge accepted conventions with the conviction that there is always more to be discovered. The world of whiskey is not flat, and it is time to step beyond what has been inherited.
At Westland, they are compelled to look out for possibilities others don’t recognize. But recognizing opportunity is not enough, you have to have the wherewithal to do something about it.
Quercus garryana, the Pacific Northwest’s native species of oak, grows in a narrow band from southern British Columbia to the very northern reaches of California. In addition to its limited natural range, Garry Oak now grows in only five percent of its former habitat. Because this oak is so rare and so difficult to find, no system has been built for it. So, Westland needed to create a supply chain from the ground up. Working closely with forestry experts, mills, and coopers, they’ve been able to not only establish an economy around Garry Oak, but along the way begin to uncover its secrets.
With Garry Oak, Westland is managing a resource that is, by its very nature, scarce—whether out in the world or in the aisles of their rackhouse. What is available to work with one year is altogether different the next. This scarcity is ultimately what makes Garryana so challenging and thus so interesting to explore. Westland’s annual editions of Garryana American Single Malt Whiskey have introduced an entirely new species of oak to the world of whiskey. With each new bottling, Westland is creating a record of the oak’s distinctive characteristics revealing the unique expressions of Pacific Northwest terroir found within this oak.
Westland is celebrating the release of Garryana Edition 5 with a Washington state exclusive pre-sale beginning Monday, October 26th. Availability in the rest of the U.S. and internationally will begin November 7th.