In 1897, two thousand hardy fortune seekers broke from the stampede to Dawson and followed their own lonely trail 175 miles above the arctic circle to remote Coldfoot, Alaska. Only 200 held on to stake their claim. They stayed not for the gold, which was scarce and hard won, but for their total independence and clarity of purpose.
For Westland and our partners at Filson, these determined few are representative of our shared belief in one’s steadfast commitment to their own path, and that the integrity of their work and the depth of their experience is its own reward. This whiskey serves as a tribute to their unrelenting spirit, and as an inspiration to endure.
Read more about the history of Coldfoot at FILSON.COM
The first edition of Coldfoot American Single Malt commemorates the spirit of exploration and those places where independent paths come together to revel in the journey. Combining several signature elements of Westland’s house style into one bottle, this whiskey marks a moment in time and serves as a milepost in an ongoing expedition into the unknown possibilities of single malt whiskey in America.
LIMITED RELEASE OF 978 BOTTLES
1st Fill Ex-Bourbon, New American Oak, Oloroso Butt
5-Malt, WA Select, Peated
On the nose dried apple slices and walnuts lead before dessert notes of waffle cone and whipped cream join in. The palate is rich and complex with more creaminess, dried blueberry, and cacao but also deeper notes of marble rye and espresso.
978 750ml Bottles
Westland and Filson are cut from the same cloth. Based in Seattle, Washington, both companies make real things in time-honored ways with an integrity that comes from understanding the essence of the Pacific Northwest at an elemental level. The story of the stampede to remote Coldfoot—a harrowing journey that began and ended in Seattle—is a perfect symbol of the grit, perseverance, and ambition this region has imprinted onto both brands. While Filson and Westland are each dedicated to their own paths, they share that common spirit that is rooted in the opening of the West and the sensibilities it takes to not only survive here, but thrive in what are the outer edges of the known world.
Filson has created a new collection of co-branded t-shirts, caps, stickers, a pullover hoodie and a stoneware shot glass inspired by the struggle and solitude of the trail to Coldfoot. Each piece features custom graphics of characters pulled from the folklore and tall tales of the storied mining camp.
The stampede for gold into the Klondike of Yukon Territory reached a peak in 1898. It was in that same year, that 1,200 other miners had set out for other regions of the far north, to the Koyukuk and Chandlar river drainages in the remote Alaska Territory interior, in a desperate search for similar riches. They came by winter using dog sleds over frozen water, snow and ice; with the spring thaw, by foot and overland, hauling everything they needed to survive the cold, feed themselves and their animal charges, and bring “the color” out of the ground.
The price of hauling freight the 65 miles from Bettles, Alaska, to Coldfoot almost matched the price of freight from Seattle to Bettles. This had the reciprocal effect on the cost of goods for resale in the far north, with high markups not uncommon. These high transport prices had their own history throughout Alaska and the Yukon, and some made their fortunes in this fashion. One account from 1896 told of a sack of potatoes that sold for 25 cents in Washington State costing 85 dollars in Circle City. Supplies from trading posts and stores in Coldfoot some 175 miles above the Arctic Circle were no exception to the laws of supply and demand, especially where gold dust, flake and nuggets were the common form of payment.