Classification: American Single Malt finished in Grand Cru Sauternes Casks
Company: Westward Whiskey
Distillery: Westward Whiskey
Release Date: March 2023
Mashbill: 100% 2-row Malted Barley
Color: Dark Copper
MSRP: $100 (2023)
Baking chocolate | Plump raisins | Roasted malted barley | Dark berries | Ripe summer fruits | Hint of oak | Delicious
Whipped orange cream | Roasted malts | Custard | Dry raisins | Light fruit cocktail | White peppercorn spice | Earthy with sweet notes woven in
Dry nuts | Roasted malts | Hints of coffee | Ebbing sweet grapes | Long malty undertone
Westward Whiskey Grand Cru Sauternes Cask uses its finishing barrel to slightly enhance its base product to enjoyable results.
Westward American Single Malt Grand Cru Sauternes Cask utilizes the company’s standard single malt whiskey finished for an extended 14 months in Sauternes casks from one of France’s Grand Cru Classe estates in the Graves region. For those unfamiliar with this particular wine finish, Sauternes wine is made up of a combination of sémillon, sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle grapes that have been impacted by Botrytis cinerea, which is more commonly known as noble rot. This produces a higher concentration of sugar. The bottle was exclusively released as part of the company’s whiskey club and had a yield of 2,070 bottles.
For those who are fans of the standard Westward Whiskey, they’ll be right at home with Westward Whiskey Grand Cru Sauternes Cask. The extended time in the Sauternes casks adds subtle yet noticeable influences to the whiskey but not as much as you’d expect if you’re used to Sauternes finished bourbons. The nose has been most impacted by the barrel finish, displaying heavy wine influences such as raisins, summer fruits, and dark berries. The Sauternes cask influence seems to be less impactful as you move through the sip. The midpoint starts to see classic Westward earthier notes shine through, with the finish displaying just hints of the cask finishing on it. While I was surprised not to see more of the Sauternes cask finish influence throughout the entire sip, the pour is still slightly elevated and differentiated enough from the standard Westward Single Malt to be enjoyable.
The bottle in review is number 142.