Whisky review: Westland American Single Malt Whiskey

By Martin Eber, September 29 2016
Whisky review: Westland American Single Malt Whiskey

Mention "American Whiskey" to many people and you're likely to get a response along the lines of "Oh, you mean Bourbon?".

They're the people who will never have heard of Seattle's Westland Distillery, which produces a range of single malts (and single cask expressions) drawing on the natural and high-quality materials of the USA's Pacific North West.

These are Westland American Oak, Westland Peated and Westland Sherry Wood, all of which make their Australian debut this month at Sydney-based distributor Alba Whisky.

At a minimum of two years old (26 months for the Sherry Wood) they're neither extensively aged nor overly complex – but that's not what Westland is aiming for.

Instead, these drams are meant to showcase how the rich barley of Washington state can become the foundation of whiskies crafted with quality ingredients, attention to detail and intelligent maturation.

Westland American Oak American Single Malt

Colour: Honey gold.

Nose: Honey, caramel, barbequed pineapple. Very pleasant.

Palate: Smooth but rich. Toast, pork crackling, oranges drizzled with honey. Its 46% ABV feels spot on.

Finish: Short to medium length, with slight rubbery notes initially rounding out into bitter cocoa.

Rating: 88/100. Very drinkable, and quite impressive given the young age of both the whisky and the distillery.

Details: 46% ABV, A$145

Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt

Colour: Light honey gold.

Nose: Toffee and caramel, raisins and maple butter. Some sweet PX notes with red berries.

Palate: Crisp and clean, with brazil nuts, a slight meatiness, oak and continuing creamy maple butter.

Finish: Medium to long length, creamy, sweet, slightly drying.

Rating: 90/100.

Details: 46% ABV, A$145

Westland Peated American Single Malt

Colour: Light honey gold.

Nose: Initially gives sweet, meaty, citrusy peat notes. Think honey orange-glazed BBQ pork. The peat is noticeable, but subtle.

Palate: Peat smoke that's simultaneously earthy and sweet, and slightly peppery. It's unique, but very enjoyable. Burnt toast, barbecued pork and charcoal-roasted pineapple.

Finish: Medium length, slight earthy smoke with a residual sweetness to the end.

Rating:  91/100. Very enjoyable (especially the palate) and definitely my favourite of the three.

Details: 46% ABV, A$145

This article was originally published on TimeforWhisky – visit TimeForWhisky.com on the Web and on Instagram.

Martin Eber

Martin is the founding editor of TimeForWhisky.com, a leading blog for lovers of the dram with tasting notes, events, bar reports, new releases and more.

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