Westland Distillery’s The Judgement of Westland concludes

Westland Distillery’s The Judgement of Westland concludes

Brand concludes that “Scotland no longer owns single malt”

19 February 2022

In October 2021, Seattle-based Westland Distillery set out to assess how their single malts, and those from around the world measured up against each other. To see if it could challenge the primacy of Scottish single malt, Westland launched The Judgement of Westland.

This series of blind tastings, held around the world, featured the same four single malts from four distinct global regions, echoing the famous blind wine tasting of 1976 known as the ‘Judgement of Paris’. There, the New World wines of California were pitted against the Bordeaux wines of France (California won).

The Judgement of Westland concluded on Thursday, 3 February 2022. The results, out of 5, are 3.4 each for the US (Westland) and Australia, 3.3 for Scotland, and 3.1 for India. Westlanded concluded that “the campaign has demonstrated a simple truth that, today, all fine single malts, regardless of where their distilleries sit on a map, deserve to be equally considered.”

The Judgement of Westland blind tasting events engaged nearly 2,000 whiskey enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and media. Attendees contributed their assessments, using a five-star rating system, via QR codes.

To create the project, respected whiskey luminaries Dave Broom and Sam Simmons independently selected the featured single malts – which were not revealed to any participants – and designed the scoring system. All the selections were widely commercially available, listed at similar price points, and neither cask strength nor single cask bottlings.

“More than 10 years ago, we set out with the firm belief that we could make compelling single malt here in Seattle,” says Matt Hofmann, co-founder of Westland. “We had a belief that this place, one of the best barley-growing climates in the world, would stand toe-to-toe with the famous whiskies of Scotland, even though our approach was different.

“I will never forget the first high scores coming in from the pundits, the relief that this made me feel. Now, for the first time, in a structured way, we could do this with nearly 2,000 whiskey fans in multiple countries and could demonstrate that single malt from around the world has something to add to the greats from Scotland. What an incredible moment. The future is as bright as ever for Westland and the world of single malt whiskey.”

Read our previous coverage of The Judgement of Westland here.

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