I was all set to write a blog post about Westland this morning; about how good their special distillery edition of "Peat Week" is, and about how we're going to have a big party two weeks from now to celebrate K&L getting an exclusive allocation of that whiskey. I'm still planning to address that exciting news, but something even crazier went down last night at Westland distillery that trumps this development. I got the phone call early this morning from the Matts: Westland was sold yesterday to Remy Cointreau in a move that adds another innovative malt distillery for the company's main star Bruichladdich. I was absolutely shocked; not necessarily in a bad way, just in a from-out-of-nowhere sort of surprise. As someone who has spent a good amount of time over the years with Emerson Lamb and Matt Hofmann and knows the full story of Westland, the move makes complete sense, however. Making good whiskey costs a lot of money, and that particular point is exacerbated when you're not getting paid for that whiskey until years down the line. Westland's potential for greatness has fortunately never been limited by money. The boys spared no expense right from the get-go because the Lamb family, who make up the majority of the Westland board, has always been financially able to cover those expenses. However, when Emerson left the company a year ago to pursue other ventures, it left Matt in charge of an operation still funded by his high school friend's parents. While everything continued to run smoothly in Emerson's absence, it probably wasn't the most ideal of situations for either party moving forward. Westland needed to find a new financial backer at some point if Matt was going to continue his incredible upward trajectory. Now that suitor has arrived, and it's one with a pretty good track record for helping creative malt distillers realize their lofty visions. I'm excited to see where they go from here.
In the meantime, let's talk about Peat Week: a special edition release that was only available at the distillery in Seattle this past October. It's smoky, fruity, round, and absolutely delicious. We're getting some (just us). We're inviting Westland's director Matt Freerks down to celebrate. We're taking over the new party room at Hard Water on the San Francisco Embarcadero on December 14th and we're going to pour a number of Westland whiskies to give you a full rundown on what the distillery has been up to (possibly their fantastic new "Winter" release as well, if I can pull some strings). Hard Water will be whipping up some seafood towers, crabby patty bites, fried chicken and waffles, and more for your snacking needs. I'm sure there will be cocktails involved as well. We'd love to see you there! Reserve your spot by clicking on the link below:
By the time this party goes down I'm sure we'll know more about the transition. Of course, if you come on down to Hard Water, you can get the story straight from the horse's mouth! We'll see you there.