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Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt




Whiskey Review: Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt

Tasting Notes:

American single malt distilled in May 2019 from a mash bill of 100% 2-row Vienna Malt influenced by Chico yeast; bottled at 90 proof and priced at $99.95.
Nothing is untypical about the warm golden amber color in the glass, reflected with solid legs and decent viscosity.
The initial aromatics in this suggest I’m about to drink a whiskey I should be enjoying around Oktoberfest time. Rich malted barley, toasted almond, a slight vanilla nod, chestnut, yummy sasparilla, and a drift of oak.
This drink is clean and balanced in a way that almost makes you forget you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. The Vienna malt aspects of this would pair so well with a range of fall-forward cuisines, which is to say there’s roasted chestnut, a little bit of pumpkin pie, some malt sweetness, a fall spice touch, a vanilla tug, just a dip of oak, and a swag of maple candy.
It is a pleasant and admirable finish, offering a little fall sweetness and spice that travel nicely into a moderate end.
If you’re looking for a fascinating “accident” turned into an outstanding American single malt, go no further than this whiskey. It hits all the right marks for being a classic alternative to the traditional Westward style.
Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt review
We review Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt, distilled from an “accidental” delivery of two-row Vienna malted barley to the distillery instead of its usual two-row pale. (image via Westward)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Boo-boos in the whiskey supply chain process are not that uncommon. Not too long ago, American single malt whiskey specialist Westward Whiskey faced this scenario when its grain supplier delivered two-row Vienna malted barley instead of their standard two-row pale. The distillery team decided not to reject the grain, going forward instead to craft a new expression ultimately known as Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt, the focus of this review.

“Largely unexplored by whiskey-makers but prized by brewers for its red color and rich, full-bodied character that appears in Oktoberfests and some IPAs,” said Westward Master Blender Miles Munroe at the time of its release, “using Vienna malted barley empowered us to create a well-rounded whiskey with notes of biscuit, honeyed malt, and rich caramel.

“Thanks to our roots as craft brewers and our desire to push the boundaries of traditional whiskey-making, we’ve ventured into the unknown and brought back something special.”

What’s in the bottle

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt was distilled in May 2019 from a mash bill of 100% 2-row Vienna Malt influenced by Chico yeast. Ultimately bottled at 90-proof and priced at $99.95, it is a Westward Whiskey Club exclusive release available as a membership option across more than 35 states.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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