Classification: Malt Whiskey
Company: Westland Distillery
Distillery: Westland Distillery
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley (Washington Select Pale Malt - 70%, Munich Malt - 9%, Extra Special Malt - 13%, Pale Chocolate Malt - 4%, Brown Malt - 4%)
MSRP: $60 (2018)
Located in Seattle, Washington, Westland Distillery was established in 2010 by Matthew Hofman and Emerson Lamb. Lamb left the company in 2015, but Hofman remains as master distiller. Each of Westland’s whiskeys is 100% malt, with the other three ingredients being water, yeast, and oak.
The whiskey is approachable and inviting on the nose. Scents of chocolate custard, coffee beans, and sweet raisins wake up the senses. The sip brings a tasty combination of chocolate, toasted marshmallows, dark coffee, and a welcome smokiness. It’s thin but flavorful. Surprisingly long, sweet toasted marshmallows and smoky wood contrast robust spice on the finish.
I haven’t had many, but the American malt whiskeys I’ve tried I’ve really liked. Westland’s flagship product is no exception, and might even be the most enjoyable American malt I’ve had so far. The rich, chocolatey flavor profile is quite good and surprisingly well developed at only two years old. I do detect a hint of youthfulness, but it’s barely noticeable against the great flavor profile of this whiskey, and if anything simply gives it some pep. Westland uses a combination of barrel types to age this whiskey, which includes first fill ex-bourbon barrels. Presumably, this is the only factor that disqualifies this from being labeled “straight,” as it meets the qualifications based on the ample amount of disclosure on both the bottle and the company’s website. After my experience with this whiskey I’d really like to try the rest of what Westland Distillery has to offer.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Douglas A. We thank him for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.