American Oak is Seattle-based distillery Westland’s flagship release. Made with barley from Washington, this is rich and creamy with notes of chocolate custard, almond and bananas.
Seattle distillery Westland uses locally sourced ingredients to create American single malt whiskies that honour the tradition of American whiskey-making with a Pacific North West twist.
Appearance: Clear and dark bronze, like heavily-tanned skin.
Nose: Rum-like, with notes of chocolate custard, almond and bananas.
Palate: Rich and creamy, with a tropical fruit (honeydew melon and pineapple) and dark chocolate flavour.
Finish: Medium-to-long, with a burst of spice (cinnamon and allspice) and peppery notes.
The nose on this Westland American Oak is quite flowery, with notes of honey, tobacco flowers, and plumeria. It is very subtle, and it almost reminds me of a Chinese tobacco flower, with spicy notes of pepper and cinnamon.
Also on the nose, there is the light aroma of earth, which brings to mind the caramel produced by tanning.
The Westland American Oak Single Malt has a lot of flavour. The first thing that hits my tongue is dark chocolate, with notes of custard; the lightest hint of almond which cuts through the dryness of the chocolate, and a little banana which is added to round out the flavour.
The finish on this Westland American Oak Single Malt is medium-to-long, with a burst of spice coming through on the back of the tongue. A strong burst of pepper – which reminds me of a hot cross bun – is followed by a burst of allspice, which brings to mind a Christmas pudding. The spice then turns to black pepper and lingers pleasantly on my tongue. Westland American Oak uses 16% rye in its mashbill and the rye spice really comes forward at the end of the tasting, adding a kick to the finish.
Westland American Oak Single Malt is an ambitious whisky, and it ultimately succeeds in what it sets out to do. It showcases how good American whisky can be.
If you haven’t had much experience with American whiskey before, Westland American Oak is a good place to start. It is ambitious and challenging, showing you the possibilities of what American whiskies can be, while still delivering a distinct flavour you will come crawling back for again and again.
It is hard to justify passing up on this bottle. It is a whisky that is accessible to anyone, but still has the quality that makes it interesting for the seasoned whisky drinker.
One of the best values on the market, and well worth the investment. If you are looking for an interesting and complex whiskey, capable of standing up to the whisky giants of Scotland, Westland American Oak Single Malt is an excellent choice.
Westland Distillery is Seattle-based craft distillery created and operated by a team of local distillers, barkeeps, and bartenders who have been honing their spirits-making skills in Washington bars and distilleries for the past ten years.
Founded in 2010, Westland Distillery is Seattle’s first and only grain-to-glass distillery. All of the whisky produced at the distillery – which is a blend of 16% rye with 68% corn and 16% malted barley – comes from the state of Washington and is made from all-organic ingredients.
Distilling a single malt on their own means that Westland can produce a whisky with a true Pacific North West flavour. Both the barley and rye in their mashbill are grown locally in the state of Washington, and natural spring water is supplied by a company based in the state.