Oregon-based Westward Whiskey’s first club release of 2024 is a Vienna Malt. Born of a mistaken delivery – the distillery’s usual two-row pale was swapped for two-row Vienna malted barley – the innovation is available exclusively to the Westward Whiskey club.
Of the new release, master blender Miles Munroe says: “Largely unexplored by whiskey-makers but prized by brewers for its red colour and rich, full-bodied character that appears in Oktoberfests and some IPAs, using Vienna malted barley empowered us to create a well-rounded whiskey with notes of biscuit, honeyed malt and rich caramel.
“Thanks to our roots as craft brewers and our desire to push the boundaries of traditional whiskey-making, we’ve ventured into the unknown and brought back something special.”
Although more familiar to beer brewers than those in the whisky industry, Vienna malted barley has been experimented with by distilleries, appearing last year in Edinburgh-based Holyrood Distillery’s Mexico New Make.
The happy accident that is Westward Whiskey’s Vienna Malt is available in a limited release only to members of its club which it launched in 2019, joining similar club ventures from distilleries, such as the well-established Ardbeg Committee. The club members receive exclusive bottlings – like the Vienna Malt – shipped out across more than 35 states, as well as access to specialised content, events and opportunities.
Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt is available for preorder now, exclusively via the Westward Whiskey club.