Seattle, Washington-based Westland has long been a powerhouse in the emerging American single malt movement. We’ve covered them extensively since not too long after The Whiskey Wash was founded, so watching them grow and evolve has been a privilege and a pleasure.
At the heart of this, in my opinion, has been the very humble managing director and co-founder Matthew Hofmann, helping guide the reins of his baby for some 13 years.
Now, with thoughts on what might be next on the horizon, he has decided to move on.
In a note sent out a while ago to press giving us a preview of his plans, Hofmann let it be known that it was time for him to shift gears. In it, he writes in part:
I’ll be leaving Westland at the end of June. This may come as a surprise but I’ve been considering the right time for a while, especially now that our newest whiskey, Solum, has finally debuted and shown the world the potential of American peat, and with the ratification of American Single Malt Whiskey (hopefully!) right around the corner. This has given me an excuse to finally think about shifting gears after 13 years with Westland, and I’ve decided to take the opportunity to challenge myself to something new.
I want to assure you that Westland will remain in the very best hands. The distilling and blending team I have worked with all these years, bringing our vision for creating an American single malt that conveys the PNW’s sense of place, will continue as guardians of the brand and the mission. I’m keen to see this company excel in this new chapter and I know it will be in great hands going forward.
Over the next two months we’ll be coordinating the full transition as thoughtfully and thoroughly as possible. As this brand has never been about me as an individual, but is a reflection of a team and a place, it’s not my goal to make a big news story here, but simply to keep you informed.
“As this brand has never been about me as an individual,” Hofmann says just above. And while that may be true for him, it is important to note his accomplishments with not just Westland, but the American single malt movement in general. His expertise and guidance, both on the distillery grounds, and with this emerging whiskey category, have helped forge for him a true place in the annals of American whiskey history.
What’s next for Westland will be interesting to see. Hofmann leaves them in good hands, there is no question. As for what’s next for him, we will hopefully find out soon. To not have his guiding vision of what American single malt whiskey is in the industry certainly would be a loss to all, be it industry or consumers.
So, for now, we will watch and see what transpires. Whatever it may be, I do wish Matthew the best. I’ve had the chance over the years to have some fascinating conversations with him about American single malt, and have truly enjoyed seeing some of the amazing whiskeys he and his team have unveiled at Westland.
Good luck with what’s next Matthew – I look forward to seeing what you’ll be up to. As a side note, we will have a story up soon on the succession plans at Westland, so watch for it.
Read the full article at American Single Malt Pioneer Matthew Hofmann To Depart From Westland