Distiller: Copperworks. ABV: 52% (Batch 1), 53% (Batch 2). Age: 30+ months. Price: $60.
Since the beginning of the current whiskey renaissance, I can’t think of a whiskey-producing region in the world that has done a better job carving out its own unique identity than the U.S. Pacific Northwest. This is partially due to the region’s long history of craft brewing, but the more recent whiskey distillers have also capitalized on the unique terroir the region has to offer. They also have a climate very similar to the Scottish Highlands. So it makes sense that distillers using locally sourced malted barley and warehouses for aging has resulted in more than a few exceptional American single malt whiskeys.
The first two releases of American Single Malt from Seattle’s Copperworks Distillery are a perfect example of what I love about this region. Their whiskey starts as a craft beer, using Washington pale malts brewed at Elysian Brewery. It is then twice-distilled in gorgeous copper pot stills made in the highlands of Scotland, and finally matured in full-sized 53-gallon new American Oak barrels from the Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, KY.
The two releases have similar aromas of sweet honey and dark molasses, but the second includes more herbal notes. On the palate, both have a mix of sweet fruit, toasted oak, pepper, and malt, with the malt and spice notes more pronounced in the second. The sweetness continues into the warm finish.
I’m really looking forward to comparing these to future Copperworks releases, along with others from this amazing region. Cheers! – JTR