Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey
Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey is an exciting expression from the young upstart Westland Distillery in Seattle. You can read more about their philosophy and production methods in my introductory post from earlier this week.
Westland sources its sherry casks directly from Spain. These casks don’t seemed to be seasoned for just a couple months, which is becoming more and more common in Scotland, but they have actually contained sherry for a really long time. According to Westland’s website for nearly a century even.
Interestingly enough, Westland ship the sherry casks whole from Spain, instead of breaking them down in staves and reassembling the casks after arrival in the United States. I’m not sure why one or the other would be better.
Westland’s Sherry Wood expression is a mixture of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso casks, but also New American Oak, meaning this is not 100 percent sherry matured. It is, just like all their expressions, really young: only 26 months old.
Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey (46%, OB)
Nose: Some sherry influence, but not very distinct. Cherry blossom and some weak orange juice notes. After about fifteen minutes some soft soy sauce. Honey and ripe bananas too.
Taste: The sherry is more noticable here, with raisins, cappuccino and chocolate. Also some honeyed breakfast cereal. Impressively balanced, more so than their American Oak Single Malt.
Finish: Raisins and honey. Highly enjoyable. Medium in length.
Sherried indeed, but done with subtlety, probably because the sherry matured spirit was blended with spirit from New American Oak casks. I quite like the Westland Sherry Wood, worked out really good. Nice work!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.