If you’re paying any attention to the world of spirits (liquor, not ghosts), you’ll likely hear a lot of chat lately about American single malt whiskey, with even more talk about the category to come in the near future. However, one brand that has long been a champion for the Scotch style of whiskey making is Washington’s own Westland Distillery, even establishing the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission, inviting others to do the same.
Launched in 2010, the company saw a gap in the industry that wasn’t being filled, making its own version of malted barley-based whiskey that was distinctly American, tapping into the terroir of the Pacific Northwest. In 2020, it debuted its Outpost Range, which would consist of three unique limited-edition expressions released annually — the first two being the Garryana, which uses the garryana oak to age the whiskey, and the Colere, which taps rare and unused barley varieties in the mashbill. Debuting this week is the third and final expression in the range: Solum.
Promising a much different sipping experience than Scotch whisky, Solum is the first-ever nationally available single malt whiskey to use American peat in the mashing process, featuring peat that was sourced responsibly from a bog just two hours south of Seattle. A long-time tradition overseas, peating is the process of malting — or drying out — the barley by burning peat moss for heat, which typically imparts a smoky profile to the whiskey. For Solum, we should expect an herbal profile with notes of burned sage, vanilla chamomile tea, coffee cake, and pumpernickel toast.
Edition 1 of Solum is rolling out this week and will see a limited run of just 4,044 bottles, priced around $150 each. Head over to Westland’s website to find a retailer.