Copperworks Distilling out of Seattle is known, in part for their American single malt whiskeys. They’ve had over 40 releases to date, some of which we’ve covered over time. One of these is a whiskey made with 100% Washington State peated barley, and now this particular style is on its third release.
The new Copperworks Washington Peated American Single Malt Whiskey – Release 042, according to those behind it, “was created from six casks of Washington State peated whiskey that were matured for more than five years. Each cask was brewed and distilled with 100% of the Copeland variety of barley that was grown in the Skagit Valley and then smoked during the malting process with peat from a lakebed on the Olympic Peninsula.”
Skagit Valley Malting produced the malt for all three of Copperworks’ Washington Peated American Single Malt Whiskey releases. The distillery released its first peated whiskey Release 034 in December 2020, and in late 2021, it released a single cask, cask strength version — Release 040.
“The Washington State peat burned during the malt drying process imparts a distinctive smoky flavor to the barley yielding for unique, earthy flavors in our peated whiskey releases,” said Jason Parker, co-owner and president of Copperworks Distilling Co, in a prepared statement. “No one in the U.S., that we’re aware of, is making domestic peated malt except for Skagit Valley Malting. We recognize our good fortune of having local access to the this unique malt, and we’re thrilled to announce that we brewed our 2022 batch a couple of weeks ago!”
“Copperworks and Skagit Valley Malting share the same vision, to use local ingredients to make world-class products,” added Erik Youngren, vice president of sales and marketing for Skagit Valley Malting. “Our peated malt is our most unique offering, and Copperworks has taken it and made something special, much like the region where the whiskey, the malt, and the barley all originate. The whiskey is the embodiment of terroir because it’s made with the very soil from our area. There’s nothing quite like the PNW, and these offerings are no exception.”
Copperworks Release 042 is bottled at 51% ABV, with just 1,063 bottles produced at a price point of around $77 per 750 ml. It is available directly from the distillery, and you’ll find official tasting notes below.
Aromas present a rich tapestry of vanilla bean paste, ripe passion fruit, and pineapple, enhanced by a subtle smokiness. The barrel influence shines through first in the flavor notes with an early entry of candied almonds and salted caramel, later developing into a complex of oak and tannins. The finish is long and intricate with notes of pine sap, bread crust, and white pepper that trail into a delightful fig jam and fruit leather memory of your first sip. Repeat sips bring even more enjoyment!
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...