...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Westland 2 year old 2012 Single Cask Nation, cask 284

Here's my "for more information on Westland Distillery" plug, with the only update being that the business was sold to Remy Cointreau exactly one year after my visit. I swear I had nothing to do with it!

Tomorrow I will review an unpeated 2.75 year old single fino cask from Westland. Today it's a 2 year old oloroso cask peated single malt from indie bottlers, Single Cask Nation.

Though their unpeated malt is all from the US, they do source their peated malt from Baird's in Speyside. Their standard peated release is good, while the two peated single casks I've tried rival Kilchoman's quality. This is the first time I've tried their sherry + peat combo.

Distillery: Westland
Region: Seattle, Washington
Type: Single Malt
Age: 24 months
Bottled: October 2014
Cask #: 284
Mashbill: peated malt from Baird's in Scotland
Maturation: first fill ex-Oloroso
Outturn: 204 bottles (so possibly a barrel?)
Alcohol by volume: 60%
(Thanks to Brett!)

The nose is fruity and meaty at first, with a little bit of floral action underneath. The peat takes time to kick in. It starts as spent charcoal and wood smoke, then it grows and grows with time. There are also notes of mint, eucalyptus, dried cherries and molasses. After a while a peanut butter note pops up, as do smoked almonds. The palate actually starts with the peanut butter and smoke almond notes all wrapped up in sherry. Chili oil, soot and salty smoked fish. The Oloroso takes the fore, after some time, reading more nutty than fruity. The finish is sweet and spicy. Savoury, salty and smoky. You know, the Ss. Sugar Daddy candy. Extensive length.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or >1¾tsp of water per 30mL whisky
A straightforward stinky peat, like young Coal Ila, shows up in the nose, but there's some decent dried fruit to keep things in control. Chocolate-covered raisins, almond brittle and baking spices round things out. It has a salty, seaweedy palate. Dried berry sweetness and tangy citrus. Cracked pepper. The finish is mostly smoke, with caramel candy, black pepper and a hint of blueberry jam.

This is very good, coming across like a 8-10 year old Islay. The spirit and sherry play well, there's much less heat than the age & ABV would lead one to expect, and there's no capital 'O' Over Oakiness. Though it takes water well, I prefer it neat due to the stellar nose. I've said it before, I'll say it again: This can compete with many of Scotch's sexier brands. Of course, the price also competes with those brands too. In any case, other than McCarthy's, you won't find another American single malt putting up this sort of quality.

Availability - sold out
Pricing - $75, which is cheap for a Westland single cask
Rating - 86