Whiskeys come and whiskeys go, and you don’t always get a chance to say goodbye. Sometimes they just quietly disappear from the shelf with no warning. That’s not the case with the latest phase-out, however. Westland Distillery has announced the upcoming release of Peat Week, its American single malt made with Scottish peated barley, will be the last. After eight years, the limited-edition—and highly collectible—annual bottling will make its farewell in the last week of January.
Peat Week 2022, dubbed “The Grand Finale,” isn’t going away because it’s unpopular. Quite the contrary: Westland’s smoky single malts are some of the best in the United States, consistently garnering praise from critics and consumers alike. Instead, the Peat Week limited edition will be replaced, starting in 2023, with a new whiskey: Westland Solum.
Made with Washington State-sourced peat, Solum represents one of Westland’s core elements of provenance-driven flavor, along with locally grown and malted barley—which can be tasted in Westland’s flagship American single malt—and barrels made from Pacific Northwest Garry oak, which are used to mature the annual Garryana whiskey. While Washington has ample peat bogs, before Westland, no distillery had attempted to harvest from them for use in malting barley. A truly groundbreaking (pardon the pun) whiskey, Solum will offer drinkers a taste of terroir that’s practically unrivaled in American single malt.
Although its Scottish malt made great whiskey, Westland has moved away from using it in favor of more sustainable sources. The distillery works with local farmers, malting facilities, and the Washington State University Bread Lab to support agriculture that’s both environmentally responsible and flavorful. Part of that effort has yielded the peated barley used for Solum.
While Solum is replacing Peat Week limited-edition whiskey, the annual “Week of Reek” will continue—great news for fans of the activities that take place around the release date. This year, Peat Week kicks off on January 25 with a symposium and tasting of past releases with Westland master distiller Matt Hofmann—a great experience at any price, but a true steal at just $15. Then on January 27, Westland hosts a cocktail class with food pairings—also just $15 a head. Attendees of both events will get first dibs on The Grand Finale ahead of its public release on January 28.