||New Garry Oak|
||100% Malted Barley (5 malts)|
|Distiller||Westland (Seattle, Washington)|
Here is a rarity - Westland matures a lot of their whiskey in Garry oak, but blends it into their limited releases rather than release it straight. I understand why - this is intense! However, I graciously was able to try this. It may well get blended into a future garryana release.
Batch: Cask 2951
Bottling Code: N/A
Bottling Date: N/A
Now this is quite something! While I have heard that garryana oak is quite unique, I’ve never been able to taste a straight garry oak whisky! It is rich and thickly woody – sweet wood, caramel, toffee, nutmeg, almond, and a rubbery sort of phenolic character. It’s not smoky, to me, but it’s like smoke. Dried orange, dried papaya, dried mango, candied mandarin, buckwheat – it’s still a bit young, but this is very complex and very interesting! It’s no wonder garry oak didn’t work well for wine – you’d need a massive wine to tame this beast!
The finish is also fascinating – it is woody, but very different than what I’ve tasted before – as if the vanilla has been replaced with toffee, or perhaps dulce de leche, and the clove notes are more along the lines of the smoky elements of brown cardamom. I was also expecting it to be more tannic – but perhaps the good dose of seasoning has dealt with that!
I love nosing this stuff...wow. This is amazing rich stuff, but not quite complete on its own – it’s no wonder that they blend it! It would be marvellous as part of a blend.
Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).