Our partnership with Rewine gives us a great deal of flexibility in sourcing top quality Garry oak for our whiskies. As passionate about coopering as we are about making whiskey, their interests intersect with ours around this majestic tree—one which presents each of us with new challenges in our individual trades. Our mutual passion for the oak brings us together and allows us to advance the use and discovery of this little-known species, all the while learning about where and how it grows so we might begin to plant Garry oak for our children, and their children, to harvest one day for their casks and their whiskies.
The first set of casks we filled that were made from this special oak were an opening salvo—a statement that this extraordinary oak can, and should, be used to make some of the best whiskey in the world. Presented without interference at cask strength, they showed the world what Garry oak can contribute to the flavor of a whiskey. We let the oak dominate the flavor profile of these first whiskies, something that’s out of character for us at Westland. But now we look to expand our inquiry further. Each cask is now back in service after completing their first maturation, and will undoubtedly provide us with a wholly different experience and a new direction of study with their second fill across our three core grain bills. Meanwhile, more virgin oak casks continue to mature in our rackhouse and exciting avenues for exploration and innovation are being revealed through our work with Trent, Todd and their team on new casks just now seasoning at mills throughout the Valley. A respect for these great trees, and the land around them in which we live, with our relentless desire to push whiskey-making forward have led us to this point. An exciting future awaits us and we look forward to sharing it all with you.