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Emerson Lamb is OUT at Westland Distillery

Award-winning distillery to continue under Master Distiller Matt Hofmann

Emerson Lamb and Matt Hoffman
Emerson Lamb and Matt Hoffman
Ronald Holden

Westland Distillery's co-founder Emerson Lamb has left the company for personal reasons. Master Distiller Matt Hofmann confirms that he has taken over most of the marketing and administrative duties previously performed by Lamb. The two Bellarmine Prep pals started Westland when they were in their early 20s. Lamb is not expected to return.

Founded just five years ago, Westland is one of Washington's "big three" craft distilleries (the others being Woodinville Whiskey and Spokane's Dry Fly). It was recently named Craft Producer of the Year by the American Distilling Institute.

Hofmann is looking ahead to exporting his American Single Malt whiskeys to Japan and to Europe, and to working with Washington State University's Bread Lab in the Skagit Valley on improving the quality of the barley in the single malts.

"American Single Malt is a new category," says Hofmann, "an expression of American terroir and American grain. We're very excited to be rolling out new products in the coming year that tell this story." Lamb was unavailable for comment.

​Westland Distillery, 2931 First Ave. S., Seattle Tours & tastings ($5, refunded with purchase) Wednesday through Saturday. Call 206767-7250 to reserve a spot.