Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Westward Whiskey. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Westward Whiskey makes a point of being an “American whiskey.” They go even further with continuous partnerships with Pacific Northwest companies and producers, honoring the elements and people that the region shares.
Westward Whiskey was among the first of the American single malts, and has built a substantial business on the style. They maintain a range of fairly young whiskeys, but age them in a wide variety of unique and interesting casks.
In this expression they are partnering with Dobbes Family Estate. Dobbes is a winery in Dundee, Oregon, that has been producing wine for 20 years, and, as stated in the name, is a family business. According to Westward CEO Thomas Mooney, “Dobbes Family Estate is a renowned producer whose winemaking ethos is ‘unbound by convention,’ a notion that resonates deeply with the team at Westward.”
The Dobbes cask in question was from a rosé of pinot noir release, specifically a dessert rosé. The sweet fruitiness of this expression speaks clearly to this finishing. But wine is not the only player in this cask. The cask Dobbes acquired for their rose had previously held tequila, adding a new element to both the wine and the whiskey. It’s unlikely the tequila had a direct impact on the whiskey, considering the whiskey was the third fill. However, it would have an indirect one through the wine. I got a certain funk from this expression that could be caused by that.
This expression is a whiskey club exclusive, and was only available for purchase to club members. They’ve released other Pacific Northwest partnered expressions, such as their Tempranillo cask finish and a collaboration with now-closed Bridgeport Brewing, as well as other unique finishes.
Tasting Notes: Westward American Single Malt Rose Cask Finish
Vital Stats: 90 proof, 45% ABV, 100% malted two-row barley, distilled 06/14/17, single barrel, 750ml
Appearance: Golden brown chestnut, with a burgundy tint. Just a few legs, slow and spaced evenly.
Nose: Sweet almond, moving towards candied cherry.
Palate: Thick texture. Fruity and sweet notes of grapefruit and prune candy into a bubblegum note. A touch of green grape provides a bit of refreshment before sweetening again into brown sugar and vanilla frosting. A sort of fermented funkiness hangs around throughout without ever taking prominence.