The Northwest Whiskey Trail speaks to the spirit of NW single malts

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The Northwest Whiskey Trail, the first distillery trail to cross an international border, affords whiskey enthusiasts a unique opportunity to sample award-winning whiskies from distilleries situated along the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. Macaloney Island Distillery’s founder Graeme Macaloney conceived of the idea for this tour as a way to highlight the unique characteristics of Northwest single malt whiskeys. Unlike traditional whiskeys that are distilled to ensure each bottle tastes identical, with Northwest whiskey, the local climate, terroir, and local ingredients combine to produce a singular expression of whiskey unique to that particular distillery.

At present, this tour consists of 6 distilleries located from Portland, Oregon to British Columbia.


Westward American Single Malt whiskey photo credit Westward Whiskey

Westward Whiskey (Portland)

Westward’s vision focus on whiskey not the traditions behind the bottle that informs their process, where they brew like a craft ale, distill like a Single Malt, and age like a Bourbon. For a fully immersive experience, book a distillery tour followed by a tasting of their single malts including special releases such as their barrel-finished whiskeys.

Copperworks single malt whiskey photo credit Copperworks Distilling


Copperworks Distilling (Seattle)

Take a tour of Copperworks Distilling located on Seattle’s waterfront and taste their American Single Malt whiskeys, gins, and vodka while exploring the distilling process through floor-to- ceiling windows. Learn how they produce everything from 100% non-commodity malted barley that’s twice-distilled. Each of their releases comes with a batch number that speaks to the unique characteristics of that particular spirit such as their Release 046 (a Salmon-Safe certified whiskey).

American Single Malt Whiskey photo credit Westland Distillery

Westland Distillery (Seattle)

With each expression of their single malt, Westland seeks to create something that honors the traditions of distilling, developing a holistic barley program with a focus on breeding unique flavorful varieties suited to this region. Their most recent release from their Outpost Range is Colere Edition 3 Single Malt Whiskey, a 2-row variety that traces its lineage back to grain breeders in the United Kingdom.


Graeme Macaloney photo credit Macaloney’s Island Distillery

Macaloney’s Island Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery (Victoria)

Headquartered in Victoria on Vancouver Island this pristine and naturally beautiful island instills in their whiskies a unique infusion of island sea air and pure water. Touch, smell and taste your way through their wide selection of craft beers and whiskies as part of their immersive brewery and distillery tours. Recently they released their first peated whiskies crafted in premium Kentucky Bourbon casks, virgin American casks, and Portuguese recharred red wine barriques.

Shelter Point Distillery (Campbell River)

Shelter Point Single Malt Whiskey photo credit Shelter Point Distillery

Situated alongside the ocean and surrounded by 380 acres of farmland, their selection of uniquely Canadian premium single malts is made with traditional methods that allow the local Vancouver Island terroir to shine. Their estate-grown barley, pure aquifer water, and salty sea air give their single malts a singular taste that can only be experienced in their whiskey.

Gin, whiskey and vodka, photo credit Deep Cove Distillers

Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers (Vancouver)

They strive to create unique, high quality using sustainable British Columbia ingredients in their beers and spirits. As a local small-batch distillery, they experiment with flavors, botanicals, and processes that result in diverse and exciting taste profiles of their gins, vodkas, and single malt whiskies. Note: As of October 2023, Deep Cove is closed, but plans are to reopen in the near future.

Whiskey glass, photo credit Northwest Whiskey Trail

To participate in this trail, get a Northwest Whiskey Trail passport at any participating distillery and collect a stamp at each destination. See them in any order with no expiration date. Once the passport is full, redeem it at the final distillery for an exclusive, limited-edition Northwest Whiskey Trail Glencairn glass.

This article originally appeared on AlcoholProfessor and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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