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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Westland single malt, cask 745

Like Monday's Westland (cask 606), cask 745 was made with a five-malt mash bill and was matured in new American oak. But while #606 was aged for 30 months, #745 matured for 62 months (ancient!). Cask 606 was very good, even at that age. Could its youth have prevented the oak from intruding? Or could more be expected with 107%-longer maturation? Interestingly these two whiskies were barreled at nearly the same time...

Distillery: Westland
Region: Seattle, Washington
Age: 62 months
MashbillFive malted barley strains
Yeast: Belgian Saison Brewer’s Yeast
Fermentation: 144 hours
Maturation: new American oak
Cask #: 745
Release: January 2019
Outturn: 200 bottles
Alcohol by volume: 56.2%
(from a bottle split)

The nose is softer, but similar to 606. Mocha, Coca-cola and black sherry soda. Fresher ginger this time, and with a hint of mint leaf. Time in the glass gives it depth, awakening butterscotch and peach skins. The palate is really damned good. Tart cherries, ginger beer, lime and guava juices, grapefruits and lemons. A big herbal bitter bite and just a touch of mocha. The finish is toastier and smokier than the palate. Dark chocolate-covered nuts, fresh ginger and bitter herbs.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whiskey
Now it noses like a fizzy plum soda, with notes of flower blossoms and smoked almonds in the background. A riot of tart citrus and herbal liqueur lights up the palate. Small notes of smoke, sugar and coffee. The finish matches the palate with a little more ginger.

I don't know how they fashion excellent, unique whiskey in five years, but here's yet another Westland gem. As mentioned in the notes, the palate is the real star and I really recommend you just keep this stuff neat. Sorta short on words here, my mind is blown.

One thing I will note: This is avant-garde whiskey. It's slightly insane and in a different dimension than both Kentucky bourbon and Speyside scotch. It's bitter and juicy and nutty and fizzy and herbal. I doubt this style can be scaled-up and broadly beloved, if that's what Remy Cointreau expected when buying the distillery. The good news is this whiskey was released (this year!) under Remy's ownership. May the Westland honey casks keep rolling.

Availability - probably sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90