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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Westland Peated single malt

Though it seems as if every distillery is attempting a peaty or smoky whisky this decade, Westland has shown more competence than most. I've found their single casks of peated stuff to be comparable to Kilchoman's. And that is not something I state casually.

As of 2016, Westland's 55ppm peated malt came from Baird's in Scotland. Not sure if that's still their source. If anyone knows, please share in the comment section. Thanks! [NOTE: See Jordan's update in the comments!]

Distillery: Westland
Region: Seattle, Washington
Type: Single Malt
Age: at least 3 years
Mashbillsix malted barley strains
Maturation: three types of American oak casks
Alcohol by volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from my bottle)

Islay-style oceanic peat (full of band aids!) hits first in the nose, then comes a metallic-tinged smoke. Tropical fruit punch, canned peaches and eucalyptus add an impressive complexity.

On the palate it's a baby Islay, but without the violence or mezcal. Antiseptic, band aids and dunnage(!). Gathers bright mint and menthol notes with time.

The longest and most balanced of the finishes. It has a gentler smoke than the palate, along with tangy citrus and sweet mint.

The winner! This will be the first bottle of the three I'll finish. I would be happy to buy this in lieu of most soon-to-be-25%-more expensive Islays. It's solid spirit-driven stuff, without any clunky oak. Though this likely took the distillery years to perfect, Westland makes this style seem pretty effortless.

Availability - Most American specialty whiskey retailers, as well as many European retailers
Pricing - $60-$80 (750mL), usually priced the same as the Sherry Wood
Rating - 86