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Westland American Oak Impressions

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What is it? 

Distillery: Westland, Seattle, USA
Name: American Oak
Make: American Single Malt Whiskey
Extra Info: Westland whiskey is made with five different malts: Washington Select Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Extra Special Malt, Pale Chocolate Malt and Brown Malt. The peated expression is made with six malts since an additional peated malt from Scotland is used to introduce the smoky character.

Why did I buy it?

Westland whiskey had been on my radar for a while because they produce an American whiskey but not a bourbon or rye. I was lucky enough to attend a local tasting event and got to try the three standard Westland expressions and walked away with a bottle of the American Oak.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: I absolutely love the Westland label; a diamond shape that mirrors the distillery logo set in front of the four corners of a rectangle displaying map imagery with topographical lines that mimic the grain of milled wood. I also love the colour scheme and the heavy based bottle. I would go as far as saying it is one of my favourite designs to date. One thing I was disappointed with however was the inclusion of a plastic screw-top lid rather than a cork stopper. I know it may seem odd, but I enjoy hearing the pop of a cork when I open my whisky and feel a screw-top cheapens the product. Bottled at 46% ABV.


Appearance: Non-chill filtered, dark gold in colour, with no additional colouring added; no mean feat considering it has only been aged for two and a half years. 

Aroma: Quite fragrant, somewhat floral, citrus notes and coffee beans.

Flavour: Velvety mouthfeel, a little spice, cherries.

Finish: Short, some lingering spice and mild warming.

Would I buy it again?

No, nor would I buy the Peated or Sherry Matured expressions either. That is not to say that Westland is onto something special here, it is just a little too young in its current form. Age the same whiskey for a little longer and I think there is great potential once the wood has had more time to interact with the spirit. That said, the only real giveaway to the whiskey's young age is the very short and mild finish. The aromas and flavours are there, but in my opinion, this isn't as good as the Westland spirit could be. A decent whiskey that should mature into a great whiskey. Keep an eye on Westland.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.

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