We consider ourselves to have at least above-average knowledge in the whisky space, so even we were surprised to hear about The Whisky Club‘s recent collaboration with Westward. Blending the true and honest flavours of the American Northwest with the spice and heat of Guatemala, the exclusive Westward American Single Malt Rum Cask is something special. Like spirit sacrilege, the world-first limited release takes Westward’s award-winning whiskey and ages it in barrels seasoned with all-natural, cane-to-glass rum.
Known for producing some of the best single-malts in America, Westward has made a habit out of spearheading whiskey innovation, case in point, the now-iconic Stout cask. For this iteration, Westward turned to long-time friends and founders of Guatemalan rum label Casa Magdalena, the Leal family.
Born out of a shared passion for local ingredients, the synergy of flavours spills out of the glass. As with Westward Whiskey’s unwavering pursuit of perfection, Casa Magdalena is known for its use of “Miel A” molasses instead of sugar cane syrup, which is the highest quality and most flavourful grade of molasses. Like its North Americna counterpart, Casa Magdalena Rum’s fermentation temperature is lower, and the process is slower than most other rums. This longer, cooler fermenting allows time for the development of complex flavours, perfectly accentuating Westward’s trademark smooth, yet brazen flavour.
The Rum Cask begins with the original, award-winning Westward American Single Malt Whiskey and then is matured in new, lightly charred American oak barrels in small batches to achieve their signature balance and boldness. It is then aged in barrels seasoned with Casa Magdalena Rum, distilled in Escuintla, Guatemala and bottled at the Westward distillery in Portland, Oregon.
“This new launch celebrates the first-to-world rum-cask offering for Westward and is certain not to disappoint. Casa Magdalena is the first new rum to emerge from Guatemala in an entire generation, and for this reason, we knew they were the perfect partner for this venture,” Miles Munroe, Lead Distiller and Blender at Westward Whiskey said. “To us, this limited release perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the new world whiskey movement, as we look to leverage natural ingredients and celebrate excellent flavours native to each products’ origin.”
Now, be warned, this is a cask-strength, uncut (no water added) whiskey at 62.5%, so it will knock your socks off a bit, but all in the right ways. Westward’s Single Malt was finished in barrels seasoned with all-natural, cane-to-glass rum to create this amazing liquid. In the same style as Westward Whiskey, Casa Magdalena Rum’s fermentation temperature is lower, and the process is slower than most other rums. This longer, cooler fermenting allows time for the development of complex flavours, perfectly accentuating Westward’s trademark smooth, yet brazen flavour.
When it comes to distribution, however, the two spirits icons turned to The Whisky Club. The Westward American Single Malt Rum Cask is offered exclusively to The Whisky Club as an uncut whiskey, representing a rare opportunity for enthusiasts. That’s right, The Whisky Club members will be the only people in Australia to taste this limited-edition bottle.
“Westward’s limited product runs are always huge sell-outs amongst Whisky Club members, and we are anticipating nothing different for the Westward American Single Malt Rum Cask release,” Bertie Cason, Co-founder of The Whisky Club said. “Every limited-edition bottle Westward produces is rich and robust, and with the sublime rum-cask finish, it’s bound to become a collector’s item you’ll find hard to keep on the shelf.”
How it works is, you can sign up for a single bottle or two bottle membership. On the first Friday of every month, The Whisky Club will send you an email on their Whiskey of the Month. You can then choose to either do nothing (meaning you’ll automatically be sent your one or two bottles and your credit card will be charged the following month), opt-out if you’re not interested in that whisky release, or double up (get twice your standard order!). The whiskies of the month range from $110 – $135 per bottle and shipping is a flat $15 per order around Australia.