Trans-Pacific Partners: Oregon Whiskey and Rutherglen Muscat

November 28, 2023
By Ashley Pini

Oregon based American Whiskey producer, Westward, has partnered with Stanton & Killeen Wines for their latest launch, Westward Whiskey Vintage Muscat Cask, a world-first with an Australian wine producer.

Born in Oregon and raised in Rutherglen, The Westward Whiskey Vintage Muscat Cask will be sold exclusively through The Whisky Club, as their “Whisky of the Month” for December and will be, to date, the single largest Australian release for Westward.

Master Blender of Westward Whiskey, Miles Munroe, told Drinks Trade magazine that “upwards of 70 barrels were delivered to Oregon to create enough whiskey for this release, and that he was incredibly proud to work with the exceptionally high quality casks at Stanton & Killeen Wines.

“This cask highlights our commitment to pursuing perfection by creating flavour in every step of a long, slow process without shortcuts… While the Westward Vintage Muscat Cask was born in Oregon, it wouldn’t be the whiskey it is without being raised in Australia by the renowned Stanton & Killeen winemakers. This exclusive release pairs our dedication to flavour innovation with the tradition and passion of Stanton & Killeen and is a delicious example of what can be created by exchanging ideas, aligning our visions and enjoying each other’s company all in the name of making incredible whiskey.”

Over the last few year in particular, The Whisky Club has grown to become the largest of its kind in the world, offering premium and exclusive whisky not available through retail in Australia – and often anywhere else in the world. The model has proven to be extremely successful and now numerous whisky producers are queuing up to get a coveted spot as a “Whisky of the Month”.

Tasting in the barrelhouse

Referencing the upcoming Westward December release, Seamus Carroll, Head of Whisky at The Whisky Club, said: “We well and truly achieved our mission to create the most incredible whiskey by bringing together the best producers, and we quite literally had to travel the world to make this happen. For the first time ever we’ve brought legendary Australian Muscat casks to the other side of the world to be filled with this world class whiskey. Between Westward having a cult following amongst whiskey enthusiasts, and the Christmas flavour notes making it a great gift for anyone who enjoys whiskey or wine, we know this will sell out fast.”

This project has been many years in the making, Whisky Club monthly specials are now planned three years in advance. The result is this case is a Westward Original Whiskey beautifully finished in the Stanton & Killeen Classic Muscat that has been home to a blend with a minimum 12 years of age. Incredible complexity and richness, reminiscent of Christmas pudding flavours; fig, spice, fruit, and butterscotch notes.  The marriage of the whisky and muscat is in perfect sync and is a testament to the choice of world-class fortified and Westward Whiskey’s commitment to is brewing and distilling process.

The process of creating this whiskey begins by brewing an artisanal American ale from scratch using locally malted barley, ale yeast, and slow, low-temperature fermentation. It is then distilled twice in custom low-reflux pot stills designed to create a robust spirit, which transfers the fresh, flavourful ale into whiskey. Once the liquid is matured to perfection in new lightly charred American Oak barrels selected to accentuate the bold characteristics of the whiskey, the Westward Whiskey Original is transferred into Stanton & Killeen Vintage Muscat Casks. The whiskey is finished for an additional year benefiting from the four distinct seasons in Oregon.

Wendy Killeen, Managing Director of Stanton & Killeen Wines added, “We have been producing award-winning wines for seven generations and 145 years, and similarly to Westward, we are exceptionally passionate about artful blending traditions and constantly innovating, to create unique and extraordinary drops that people haven’t tasted before.”

The Westward Whiskey Vintage Muscat Cask

52.5% ABV

Available exclusively through The Whisky Club

RRP $145 AUD

Aroma – Apricot, Lychee, Cocoa, Butterscotch
Palate – Melon, Sticky Toffee, Rich Raisin, Dried Fig, Christmas Cake
Finish – Citrus, Mocha, Candied Nuts, Vanilla Oak

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