Logo of Westland Distillery with red tree icon.

Westland Distillery

  • USA, Washington
  • Berlin International Spirits Competition 2017: USA Peated Whiskey of the Year, SF World Spirits Competition 2021: Gold Medal
  • https://www.westlanddistillery.com/
Phone Number
  • +12067677250
  • 2931 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, United States

Illuminated Westland Distillery signage at dusk.

History of Westland Distillery

Founding and Early Development

Westland Distillery was established in 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The distillery was founded with the intention of creating a distinctly American single malt, a vision that has been at the core of their operations since inception. The distillery’s founder, Matt Hofmann, started with a passion for flavor and a desire to explore the possibilities within the world of distilling. Hofmann, along with a high school friend, dedicated themselves exclusively to malt whiskey, a decision that has defined the distillery’s unique approach and products.

Unique Approach and Contributions

Westland Distillery has made significant contributions to the American single malt whiskey category. Their approach combines traditional whiskey-making techniques with an emphasis on local ingredients and innovative practices. This is evident in their use of Garryana oak barrels, sourced from the Pacific Northwest, to age their whiskey, offering a unique flavor profile. The distillery’s focus on terroir, experimentation with different barley varieties, and dedication to sustainability have been key factors in its success and influence.

Current State and Future Prospects

Today, Westland Distillery stands as a leading voice in American Single Malt, recognized globally for its quality and innovation. The distillery has received accolades for its products, including their Garryana single malt whiskey, which was ranked third in the world in a blind taste test by Whisky Advocate magazine in 2023. Looking ahead, Westland is focused on continuing to lead the American single malt category and exploring new possibilities within the realm of whiskey, leveraging the rich agricultural heritage and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest.

Product Range and Notable Releases

The distillery’s range includes several notable expressions. Each whiskey in their Heritage Collection, for example, showcases their house style that emerged in their early days, emphasizing a balanced, barley-forward profile. Over the years, they have produced a range of whiskeys, including the American Oak, Sherry Wood, and Peated, each offering a distinct take on single malt whiskey. Limited editions like the Garryana and exploratory projects underline their commitment to innovation and quality.

Ownership and Industry Position

In 2016, Westland Distillery was acquired by Rémy Cointreau, an international drinks conglomerate. This partnership has allowed Westland to maintain its innovative spirit while benefiting from the resources and long-term planning approach of Rémy Cointreau.

In summary, Westland Distillery, with its unique approach to single malt whiskey, rooted in the traditions of the Pacific Northwest, has made a significant impact on the whiskey industry. Its commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability positions it as a leader and a pioneer in the American single malt category​​​​​​.

Awards Won by Westland Distillery

American Oak American Single Malt Whiskey

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2021: Chairman’s Trophy | Top 100 Spirits
  • SF World Spirits Competition 2021: Gold Medal
  • Wine Enthusiast 2020: 93 Points
  • Numerous other awards from 2014 to 2019, including gold medals and high scores

Peated American Single Malt Whiskey

  • NY International Spirits Competition 2018: Double Gold Medal / 96 Points
  • Berlin International Spirits Competition 2017: USA Peated Whiskey of the Year
  • Multiple awards from 2014 to 2017, including gold medals and high ratings

Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2018: 97 Points, Chairman’s Trophy
  • American Whiskey Masters 2017: Master Award
  • Several other awards including double gold medals and high points from respected critics

Special Editions

  • Peat Week 2016 and 2017, 5th and 6th Annual Peat Week, and Winter editions have all received awards like gold medals from prestigious competitions
  • Garryana Editions 1 and 3 have won awards including Best American Single Malt and Gold Medals

Recognition for Sustainability

  • EnviroStars Certification for commitment to environmental sustainability
  • Notable projects include waste reduction initiatives and community support efforts like Garry Oak Restoration

Overall Distillery Awards

  • Westland Distillery was named Whisky Magazine’s World Craft Producer of the Year in 2016
  • Matt Hofmann, one of Westland’s founders, received the title of American Master Distiller of the Year in 2018
  • The distillery also won American Single Malt of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards in 2018

Latest Accolades

  • Westland Solum was named Best American Single Malt in 2023 by the World Whiskies Awards

Westland Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting Westland Distillery offers a unique and immersive experience into the world of American single malt whiskey. Situated in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, the distillery provides guests with an opportunity to explore the intricate processes behind their whiskey-making.

Distillery Tours

The highlight of the visit is the distillery tour, where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at Westland’s process, philosophy, and a guided tasting of four current releases. The tour includes:

  1. Duration: Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the tour is divided into two parts:
    • A 45-minute exploration of the distillery, where you’ll learn about the nuances of Westland’s whiskey-making process, and understand the intentions behind their creations.
    • A subsequent 45-minute in-depth whiskey tasting session, allowing visitors to experience the unique flavors and profiles of Westland’s whiskeys.
  2. Booking and Pricing: The tour is priced at $25.00, and bookings can be made in advance through Westland Distillery’s official website.
  3. Age Restrictions: Participants must be at least 21 years old to engage in the whiskey tasting part of the tour. Children aged 10 to 17 are allowed on the tour when accompanied by an adult on a 1:1 ratio, and require a ticket for entry. Unfortunately, children under 10 are not permitted.
  4. Rescheduling and Refunds: While the tours are non-refundable, rescheduling is possible if you contact the distillery before your scheduled tour time.

Tasting Room

Apart from the tours, Westland’s tasting room and bar are open to the public. Here you can enjoy whiskey flights, cocktails, and small bites. The tasting room also features a bottle shop with distillery-exclusive releases and more.

Location and Contact

Westland Distillery is located at 2931 First Avenue South, Seattle, Washington. For any further queries or information, you can contact them via their email or phone.

Additional Offerings

  • Events: Westland Distillery hosts various events throughout the year, focusing on whiskey education, seasonal releases, and celebrating Pacific Northwest culture.
  • Online Shop: For those unable to visit in person, Westland offers merchandise and whiskey for direct shipping to Washington State residents through their online shop.

Flask & Barrel Review of Westland Distillery

As someone who’s toured a fair share of distilleries, I’ve got to say, my visit to Westland Distillery was pretty remarkable. I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the setting in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood adds its own charm. The vibe of the place is a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern aesthetics, which really appeals to a whiskey enthusiast like me. The staff were welcoming and knowledgeable, which is always a plus.

The tour itself was a highlight. It lasted about 90 minutes and was split into two parts – first, a deep dive into the distillery’s process and philosophy, and then a tasting session of four Westland whiskeys. As a collector, I appreciate the nuances in whiskey-making, and Westland didn’t disappoint. They’ve got a unique approach, focusing heavily on local ingredients and sustainable practices. This was evident in the flavor profiles of the whiskeys I tasted.

The tasting room experience was top-notch. It’s a great spot to relax, try out some whiskey flights and cocktails, and even grab a bite. Their bottle shop also had some exclusive releases, which I couldn’t resist adding to my collection.

If I have to nitpick, I’d say the only thing missing was a bit more variety in the tasting session. Given the range of whiskeys they produce, I was hoping to try a few more. But what I did taste was of excellent quality.

What To Do Nearby Westland Distillery

Seattle Center & Space Needle: About 5 miles north of the distillery, the Seattle Center is home to the iconic Space Needle. It’s a great place to get panoramic views of the city.

Pike Place Market: Located approximately 4 miles away, this bustling market offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and the famous fish-throwing tradition.

The Museum of Flight: Roughly 6 miles south, this museum offers an extensive collection of aircraft and space artifacts, making it an exciting visit for aviation enthusiasts.

Chihuly Garden and Glass: Around 5 miles from Westland Distillery, this exhibit showcases Dale Chihuly’s studio glass. It’s a mesmerizing display of art and colour.

Olympic Sculpture Park: Situated about 5 miles away, this outdoor sculpture park offers a serene environment to enjoy large-scale artworks and views of Puget Sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Westland Distillery?

By’s: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (206) 622-9901 for inquiries. Their address is 2901 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134.

13 Coins Seattle: This restaurant has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. You can reach out to them at (206) 682-2513. It is located at 255 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104.

Paseo: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations or inquiries, their contact number is (206) 420-7781. The address is 1760 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134.

What hotels are near Westland Distillery?

Crowne Plaza Seattle-Downtown, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at (206) 464-1980. Their address is 1113 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101.

Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square: This hotel has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them for reservations at (206) 625-1111. The address is 612 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.

Silver Cloud Hotel – Seattle Stadium: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. To make reservations, call (206) 204-9800. The hotel is at 1046 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134.