Founder and CEO of American single malt whiskey distiller, Westward Whiskey, Thomas Mooney was in Sydney this week to launch an Australian-only limited edition release.
Westward American Single Malt Whiskey Oregon Pinot Noir Cask has been aged in casks from Remy Wines in the Willamette Valley of Oregon's wine country. It was rested for eight months before bottling at 45 per cent ABV (90 proof).
Mooney said Westward was different from many in the industry because of its minimalist distilling process. "We got to tremendous lengths to follow minimalist brewing techniques to bring out the flavour of its grain and other natural ingredients. There is no substitute for time," Mooney told Food & Drink Business.
Westward begins its process by brewing an American pale ale, from scratch, using locally malted barley, ale yeast, and a slow, low temperature fermentation. The fresh beer is then distilled twice in custom pot stills to create a bold, robust spirit.
The whiskey is aged at a relatively low proof in new, lightly toasted American Oak barrels, resulting in a whiskey that is "distinct, brazen, rich in character, and full of flavour".
“Australia was our first market outside of the United States, and it continues to be one of our most successful anywhere in the world,” Mooney said. “Aussie consumers know great whiskey, and we're thrilled by the enthusiasm with which they received our flagship Westward American Single Malt. It made perfect sense that we’d select Australia, and our partners at The Whisky Club, to release an exclusive, phenomenal expression of Westward finished In local Oregon Pinot Noir casks."
Mooney told Food & Drink Business that he has worked in the industry for about ten years, having worked for Fiji Water before that. When asked what he loved most about his job, he said the concept of time. "i am not a patient man, so working with something that makes me wait is fascinating."
The whiskey is availabe through The Whisky Club.