Westland Hand Filled Distillery Only 5 year Old Moscato Finish
American Single Malt
Washington , USA
Scott_ETastedWow, pulled this from sample extras from @PBMichiganWolverine from the days of the SDT sample tour who had the fortune of a Westland Distillery tour and was able to hand fill this bottle. From the notes of my tour mates: Bottle #167 from cask #4856 bottles at 53% abv. This is a beautiful and rich ambered-copper color. A sherry filled nose full of baking spices, nuttiness, dark sweetness that is rich, bold and full. Dates, raisins and apples that are smothered in maple syrup, brown sugar and caramel. All this in a bowl of oatmeal. Sprinkle on ground cinnamon, pecans and dark chocolate shavings for good measure. A perfect sweet tooth autumn breakfast? A soft, velvety arrival, and like the nose, thick, full bodied and full flavored. Spice and sweetness. Dark chocolate covered raisins, maple syrup, sherry, caramel provide a syrupy sweetness. There is a counter push of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and wood spice that tempers the sweetness. Wood spices and a pecan nuttiness form toward the fade. A final palate of wood spice, some dill, fruitcake. A warmness hangs around for a good length. Ultimately a woody dryness and with some flavors that I would describe as similar to B+B (Brandy and Benedictine) drive it home. I have sampled several Westland’s and have enjoyed but have been wowed. By far, this is the best of them all that I have tasted. From start to finish, a pleasant sophisticated, semi-balanced dram. One that you want to take slow and try and absorb all flavors and aromas. Thank you @PBMichiganWolverineiganWolverine for sharing this personally hand filled dram. [92/100][Tasted:11/2/19]
LeeEvolvedTastedThis whiskey is from Westland distillery out of Seattle, Washington. They are allowing visitors and tour participants to hand-fill their own bottle of constantly aging whiskey to take home with them. My friend, @PBMichiganWolverine from NJ, took a private tour and was able to secure a bottle of what is now a 5 year old that’s been hanging out in an ex-Moscatel wine cask. This was bottled at 53% ABV and is an amber/red, deep caramel colored whiskey that produces very oily droplets and slow forming legs around the Glencairn. I believe his bottle was complimentary, as well- so that makes VFM a wash. I would assume this bottle would cost the average Joe over $50-60. Let’s see if it’s worth that. The nose was very sweet. Raspberrries, grape must and sherry dominate the aromas. There’s no hint of alcohol and a very weak, cask note. Light vanilla and chocolate float around as well. All the sweetness is very integrated and deep. Dessert, anyone? The palate started out with sweet, milk chocolate notes, tons and tons of sherry and moscatel wine grapes. It’s relatively thick and heavily mouth coating. It’s borderline sickly sweet. There’s a little oak presence, but absolutely zero heat. The finish is chocolatey rich and oily, smooth and mouthwatering. It’s slightly warming and the sweetness lingers on for what I’d call a long finish. Overall, I had extremely high expectations and this one fell short because it really needs more wood influence and heat. This could be drizzled over cake and/or ice cream and work miracles. It’s just too sweet. There’s a big need for some zip or heat here. Thanks again, Mr B. If I had to buy a bottle I’d have to dock it, but for a free bottle it’s a 4 star dram. Honestly, I feel like 3.5 stars is more of an indication of how I feel about the overall tasting experience. Cheers.
TelexTastedThis one gets a holy hell yeah. Thanks @PBMichiganWolverine for making me open my eyes to an American distillery that actually does a single malt. Wow, the nose gets up right in your face with a sherry bomb explosion, and you can smell the spices, apples, and other ruby red fruits in there as well. A heavy mouth coat that also brings out both milk and dark chocolate, espresso, maple syrup, hot buttered popcorn, and cinnamon on the palate. I've never touched a muscat grape (from muscatel wine) but it's damn good. It's too bad on this being a rare bottle, but I would definitely have no issue with trying something else by them. A little more age might make it even more interesting. A fat 4.5 from me.
Generously_PaulTastedTime for another bonus sample from the SDT. This time we are dealing with a growing category of whiskey, American single malts. Westland is based in Washington state and this particular bottle was hand selected and hand bottled by fellow tour member @PBMichiganWolverine during a tour of the distillery. Bottle #167 from cask #4856 is bottled at 53% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of a dark red/brown mahogany. This 5 year old was finished for an unknown length of time in a moscatel sherry cask. From the distillery website: Cask #4856 is one of four Moscatel casks filled from a vatting of six 5-Malt New American Oak casks. The pre-finish vatting trended towards bitter, but maintained a spicy and floral quality. These characteristics left room for sweet and floral notes of the finishing Moscatel cask to balance and compliment within an overall rich profile. A full, rich and powerful nose. The sherry finish is strong, sweet and again, very rich. Spicy oak, brown sugar/molasses, maple, caramel and a not so far away mint. Strong notes of vanilla, toffee and buttered toast. A bit of a dill note. Fruity, raisins, dates, caramel apples and a bit of a bubblegum note. Mocha, chocolate, pecans, faint ginger and spiced fruitcake. Water enhances the sherry, mocha and maple notes. Some definite heat on the palate, but enjoyable. Very rich and full. Strong oak and a deep, dark sherry, like first fill Oloroso. Maple, candied bacon, caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. Spiced fruitcake, chocolate, cinnamon, clove and ginger. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel, oily and mouth coating. A long finish. Heat, sweet, rich. Sherry, oak, fruitcake. What a pleasant surprise to taste an American sherry bomb. It’s like a GlenDronach/Elijah Craig blend. A lot of flavor and power behind the 53%. Water helps a little but is not needed. I don’t know what this goes for as the bottle in question was free from the distillery, but if it’s under $60 I would say grab it no questions asked. $60-100, maybe, if you like sherry bombs and want something a little different. Over $100, hard to justify. Easily a 4.25. Cheers
PBMichiganWolverineTastedFirstly, I need to apologize for the screwy upload of this. I’m a part of the beta testing to directly add new items. As you can see, just “Westland” isn’t a sufficient description. I meant to write “ Westland Hand filled distillery only 5 yr old Moscato finish”. And as you can also see, my picture positioning skills have much to be desired. Anyway...on to the review: so this is a distillery only, almost 5 year old, made from 5 types of barley, and aged in American oak before being transferred to moscato wine barrel. I love Westland for their creativity and adherence to local sourcing, and it shows in their quality. They do only one thing—-make single malt whiskey, and do it freakin well. No gin, no vodka, no beer, no bourbon. They were financed several years by early investors which afforded them not to provide a revenue stream till the whiskey matured, which is a rare luxury for new craft distilleries. And they don’t source their whiskey, instead opting to use only local Washington state barley (hey, High West and Wistlepig...take note). They’re actually doing some really cool things with local peat (yes, I was surprised to learn we Americans have peat!!?), as well with organic heirloom barley. In about 2 years, they’ll be the first whiskey makers to use heirloom barley from seeds over hundreds of years. That barley is blue...will be interesting to see the effect on whiskey. So, this distillery only bottling is unique...aromas of chocolate liqueur like Godiva, and an initial palette heat which soon settles into a Christmas cake flavor. Considering it’s their first 5 yr old (almost), and their only moscato finish...it’s a must-have if you’re a Westland fan. If you’ve had their previous products, this one puts those to shame. I’d say it’s in line , if not better, than their Garryana 2017. Superbly well made with care and quality at the forefront,
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