Westland American Single Malt Whiskey
What the Distillery Says:
A flagship malt is the core expression of a distillery’s house style. Westland’s American Oak is a reflection of where it is made and the collective intent of those who made it. When we founded Westland Distillery, we had a vision for an entirely new category of whiskey. Distilled from the rich, flavorful barley of Washington State and matured predominantly in new American oak casks in the steady, cool humidity of our seaside home, this whiskey is a testament to that vision. All of these choices and ingredients conspire to create an approachable, mature and uniquely American single malt that can stand with the best whiskies in the world.
The initial nose provides lemon and orange custard backed by freshly produced waffle cone. Shortly after, a rich creaminess emerges with creme brûlée and chocolate custard while a hint of jasmine hides just beneath the surface. The first sip confirms the creamy and rich fruit custard notes of the nose, adding an element of rainier cherries. After five minutes, melting swiss chocolate is revealed with a hint of almond. Extended tastings brings out bananas and cream with Turkish coffee.
Washington Select Pale Malt
Extra Special Malt
Pale Chocolate Malt
Cooper’s Select New American Oak
Cooper’s Reserve New American Oak
First Fill Ex-Bourbon
YEAST STRAIN: Belgian Brewer’s Yeast
FERMENTATION TIME: 144 Hours
What Gary Says:
Nose: Young malt, lemongrass with some floral notes over peach and sea air.
Palate: Slightly creamy mouthfeel with apricot, peach, and honey over gentle spice(like mincemeat pie dialed down by half).
Finish: On the short-side, and wet (but pleasant).
Comments: A well done malt – I find it nicely balanced and approachable. Nothing off-putting about it, although it left me wanting more (as in – this same whiskey but maybe with another couple of years, and a few more points of proof). It is pretty tasty, although a tad on the thin side. For the price, unless you’re a whiskey geek who wants to try and support American Single Malt (a noble cause to be sure!), there are a lot of Scotch single malts that deliver more flavor for less. But that is the price of being an early adopter. This is a finely crafted whiskey, and shows a lot of potential. It isn’t trying to be Scotch-like, but clearly is a single malt. I haven’t tried their other offerings, but this sample definitely has gotten me interested in looking!
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich and sweetly floral. There are background notes that are slightly meaty and also brandy like.
Palate: Delicate and well balanced. The sweetness here reminds more more of a cognac than a scotch. Poached stone fruits come to mind.
Finish: A little peppery and slightly hot but a few drops of water smooths that out.
Comments: Yeah, I’m the guy that typically hates American craft whiskey. I find it uninspiring, poorly put together, young, and over priced. That is a broad generalization but I am hard pressed to find exceptions to those descriptors. This however, would be one such exception. This is a delicious whiskey. It’s unique, well balanced, and it doesn’t show its youth at all. That said, you need to approach this on it’s own merits and don’t go looking for a scotch clone. If anything, this reminds me more of a nice brandy rather than a single malt scotch. My only complaint is the price. I know it’s tough for the new guys to sell their product with all that start up cost to recuperate but damn there are a lot of nice $75 bottles of whiskey out there. Hopefully, as Westland gains scale they will be able to target a more reasonable price point.
Rating: Must Try