American By Nino Marchetti / March 20, 2014 In keeping with the theme of American whiskey that’s hard to come by, we turn now from Kentucky to Washington State. It is here, in the city of Seattle, that American single malt producer Westland Distillery recently released a limited edition “peated single malt whiskey” dubbed First Peated that, as of this posting, is down from 700 bottles to just around 200 or so that can be picked up either directly at the distillery or from a select number of local retailers. Pricing at around $65 and bottled at 92 proof, this 750 ml offering leads the way for what will eventually be a more regular peated offering. As for this more limited expression, it had a minimum maturation time of 24 months in #4 char new American oak after being distilled from a mash of two separate malts. One malt, it is said, “was a heavily peated barley malt, among the smokiest found in the new world,” while the second came from the distillery’s “signature Washington Select pale malt.” Tasting notes from Westland for this release are as follows. If you happen to be in Seattle, make sure to grab a bottle before they disappear. Nose: The initial nose on this whiskey comprises a unique spectrum of flavor notes. Pomegranate and iodine. Moss and sage. Tar and tangerine. All of these aromas fuse together to give us a profile that is greater than the sum of its parts. Palate: The palate reveals chocolate mousse, smoldering peat, leather, warm cinnamon muffin and grapefruit. Extended time brings out aromas of damp earth, shortbread and chocolate fondue poured over cantaloupe. The palate sees more peat bliss now accompanied by the aroma of a campfire and sea spray with Rainier cherries and chocolate covered espresso beans on the finish.