Seattle-based Copperworks Distilling Company announced the first releases in its new Single Variety Malt series of Copperworks American Single Malt Whiskey. The new releases are made from a single variety of barley grown in one growing season on a single farm in the Skagit Valley, 70 miles north of the distillery. Two single-cask releases are the first results of the program the distillery began in 2016 to support the local grain economy and highlight the unique flavors of grains grown in the Pacific Northwest. The whiskey releases (Releases 019 and 020) will be available on February 2, 2019.
“Like any agricultural product, barley is subject to variation in flavor due to its variety, growing location, and the weather conditions,” says Jason Parker, Copperworks co-Founder and president. “The Pacific Northwest has a variety of soil types and climate conditions, all of which are great for growing superior barley for malting. We’re exploring flavor possibilities by using barley grown in a variety of Northwest locations to produce our American Single Malt Whiskey. We’re working with five different varieties of barley grown on seven different local farms.”
First Releases of Single Variety Malt Whiskey
The two initial releases of Copperworks Single Variety Malt Whiskey were produced from a barley variety named “Alba,” harvested from the Knutzen Farms in the Skagit Valley in 2015. The barley was malted at nearby Skagit Valley Malting.
As with all Copperworks spirits, the process of creating the whiskey began by brewing an un-hopped beer from the malt. “We knew almost immediately that the Alba was going to make great whiskey,” said Parker. “The beer was richer and more fragrant, with deeper fruit aromas, than any malt we’d ever used.”
Copperworks distills its whiskey twice in traditional copper stills from Scotland and matures the whiskey in oak barrels. Releases 019 and 020 were matured at the distillery’s Seattle waterfront location for 34 months in full-size, charred, new American Oak barrels.
“The flavors of the Alba malt shine through in these releases, giving rich dried fruit and dark sugar flavors and aromas to the whiskey, along with floral and spice notes,” said Parker.
Price and Availability
- Copperworks Single Variety Malt Whiskey, Release 019: will be available on February 2, 2019 in the Copperworks tasting room and online store. 750ml, 50% ABV, $76.49 (not including taxes or shipping).
- Copperworks Single Variety Malt Whiskey, Release 020: will be available in early February in select liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in the greater Seattle area. 750ml, 50% ABV.