Single Malt Whiskey Night at The Barrel Thief

Monday was a big night for us; it was the first time we’ve had a single malt whiskey event. As most of you know, we taste American Whiskey, primarily bourbon and rye, and until now have never had single malts at any of our tastings. We’re blazing into new territory here, and we had a blast! Here’s what we got to taste:

Now some of you may be thinking: "Holy cow I can barely count them there are so many. How many whisk(e)y’s is that?" Well, to answer your question, it’s 8. Yes 8. We covered a lot of ground, from Tasmania to India, to Japan and our very own USA, without even setting foot on Scottish soil. In all our “travels” we uncovered a crazy amount of flavors all derived ultimately from one grain: malted barley. We tasted flavors ranging from smoky, earthy peat in one to pineapple, mango, and even celery in another. I can’t speak for everyone but my taste buds got a great workout.

The Single Malt Night was in many ways the quintessence of what we are about at the Seattle Whiskey Collective. Our group ranged from single malt pros to total newbies, and even someone who didn’t like single malt before Monday (anyone care to hazard a guess?). Our community got to intersect with an amazing local distillery at a great local bar. The venue was perfect, the whiskey delicious, and the conversation jovial as we gathered together to enjoy our favorite brown liquid.

With that, I think some huge thanks are in order.

First and foremost, we are insanely thankful to Christopher Gronbeck for opening up The Barrel Thief to host this event. We’ve been looking forward to the single malt night for a long time and are incredibly grateful for Christopher’s generous hospitality to us. From opening up on a night the bar is usually closed, to continuing to add to the list of single malts we tasted (from 5 to 8), Christopher went above and beyond to make the evening amazing. He even opened up the bar after our tasting to allow everyone to continue to mingle and enjoy good company.

Additionally, we are super thankful to Matt Hofmann, Master Distiller from Westland Distillery, for coming out and teaching us about single malt whiskey. Thanks Matt for dropping knowledge bombs and sharing your passion (in both verbal and liquid form) with us.

Finally we’d be remiss to not say how thankful we are to all of our members and those who came out on Monday to share the evening with us. We love the community and camaraderie we see every month in the Collective, and it’s great to see that extend to new venues and new friends.


The Barrel Thief is one of our favorite whiskey bars in Seattle. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out their great menu, we'd highly recommend a trip to the heart of Fremont to give them a visit.