Classification: Single Malt Finished in Tequila Casks that Previously held Pinot Noir Rosé
Company: Westward Whiskey
Distillery: Westward Whiskey
Release Date: December 2021
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
MSRP: $90 (2022)
Raspberry | Blackberries | Tequila | Salted toffee | Ocean breeze | Moss
Dark raspberry | Black cherry | Agava | Black pepper | Fresh mint
Tequila | Mexican chocolate | Serrano pepper | Cocoa powder | Malt | Medium length with a flash of heat
Westward x Dobbes Family Estate is the first national release of Westward's Whiskey Club. According to Westward, the release pays “homage to the collaborative culture of Westward’s home in the American Northwest, the incredible winemaking talent found nearby in the Willamette Valley, and the whiskey maker’s ongoing commitment to experimentation.” It looks like Westward is delegating their most unique and outrageous ideas to their quarterly whiskey club. With clubs often appealing to diehard fans and many of these types of release lacking widespread appeal, the club seems to be a perfect outlet for Westward's creative endeavors.
Westward x Dobbes Family Estate certainly delivers on the unexpected. A malt finished in a tequila cask that previously held pinot noir dessert rosé is a collection of words I thought I’d never write. And with that, an initial sip shocks and awes. The palate features the majority of the pinot noir dessert rosé flavor notes. Dark raspberry and black cherry are the stars and are nicely complimented with agave, black pepper, and mint. But the whiskey quickly makes a left turn during its finish, and its tequila side shows itself. Straight tequila flavor against Mexican chocolate and serrano pepper provides depth and high heat. Taking the finish on its own surprisingly works, but the contrast it provides against the fruity sweet palate is startling. It works more than it doesn’t, and I enjoyed the experience this whiskey takes you on. It’s wildly experimental, and while it's an oddity, it comes together just enough to avoid catastrophe.