Review: Westland Distillery Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Westland Distillery.

Image courtesy of Westland Distillery.

New American Oak, PX Sherry, and Oloroso Sherry Casks
100% Malted Barley (5 malts)
Distiller Westland (Seattle, Washington)

I originally didn't go for a bottle of this because I suspected it was something I'd seen too often before - a micro-distillery trying to replicate a Scottish style of single malt - I was wrong. This doesn't taste like Scotch - it is driven by a unique and flavorful barley mash alongside a brewer's yeast and a maturation regime that pairs new american oak with sherry casks! Westland takes the painstaking labour of shipping the sherry casks whole from Spain - they believe this extra effort, which limits them to 10 casks per container, imparts extra vibrancy to the spirit.

Bottled non-chill filtered and without caramel colouring.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2018

Very much in the Westland style, with the roasted malts coming through with nice roasted grain and toasty notes, yet with the sherry influence – dried orange, clove, nutmeg, rancio, sugar caramel...and a nice spiciness. The palate is sweet, with more of that orange and rancio coming in alongside toasted bread, malt loaf, pumperknickel bread, toasted macadamia nuts, . Dried fruits, smoke, and tannic oak on the finish. A sweet, woody, spicy, and fruity finish – all in equal parts, seemingly. Nice balance!

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). If you like sherried Scotch, this is a must. It’s sherried malt in a very different way.

Value: Average.