The past 10 months have seen a lot of traditional in-person events go virtual, and today Westland Distillery in Seattle announced plans to bring its seventh-annual Peat Week online as well.
And it’s in good company. In October the Great American Beer Festival went entirely online, and last month Russian River Brewing Company announced plans to bring its yearly Pliny the Younger release, which often draws large crowd, to an online setting as well.
Peat Week has been a tradition for Westland since 2015. The tribute to all things smoky includes special whisky releases as well as cocktail classes and tasting events. This year will be similar to previous years, except all those experiences will be online.
Here are the main two events on the docket for the Jan 26-28 event. Sadly, both require the purchase of a tasting kit which is available only to those in Washington, so you’ll either need to be there or have a pal there that can place the order for you in order to partake.
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Symposium – On Tuesday, January 26, Westland will hold a virtual Symposium, led by Master Distiller, Matt Hofmann, and Master Blender, Shane Armstrong, that will feature a discussion of unique peated cask finishes from the rackhouse. Admission to the guided Zoom tasting of the whiskeys will be complimentary with purchase of the Symposium Sampler Kit, which can be purchased on the Westland website (shipping within Washington only). See details here.
Cocktail Competition – This year’s Peat Week Cocktail Competition will look a bit different than past in-person duals, as Westland has now partnered with three prominent bartenders to create Peat Week Cocktail Kits. Cocktail fans can cast their vote by purchasing one of the kits via the Westland website (shipping within Washington only). Each purchase includes admission to a virtual cocktail class hosted by Westland, taking place on Thursday, January 28, featuring all three guest bartenders who will demo their kit and sharing tips and tricks from the trade. See details here.
As it has in the past, this year’s Peat Week will also include the release of some limited-edition Westland expressions. Both of this year’s releases were aged more than 7 years, making them some of the oldest ever made by the distillery. Like the week’s events, the releases will be available exclusively at the distillery.
“We’re excited that this year’s festival bottlings return to our dual single cask format,” says Master Distiller and Co-Founder Matt Hofmann. “One cask spent its entire maturation simply and quietly in an ex-Bourbon cask, while the other escaped its initial home to reside in an ex-Rum cask until bottling.
Here’s a rundown of both with tasting notes from the distillery:
Cask No. 428
(61.4% ABV; Baird’s Heavily Peated Malt; Total Maturation 89 months; 1st Fill ex-Bourbon – Buffalo Trade – Cask; Belgian Saison Brewer’s Yeast; $99.99 SRP)
· Nose: Cadbury egg, rice Chex, straw, dried floral
· Palate: Lemon meringue, green tea, wood smoke
Cask No. 6732
(60.8% ABV; Baird’s Heavily Peated Malt; Cask Maturation 89 months; 1st Fill ex-Bourbon – Buffalo Trace – Cask, ex-Rum – Mount Gay – Finishing Cask Belgian Saison Brewer’s Yeast; $99.99 SRP)
·Nose: Dried pineapple, molasses, croissant
· Palate: Smoked black tea, soft caramel, faint clove
If you aren’t in Washington, you can pick up a bottle of Westalnd’s single malt (although not the limited-edition expressions) at online retailers ReserveBar and Caskers, in addition to local stores.