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Westland Debuts the Third Iteration of its Oregon Oak Single Malt

Quercus garryana, known more commonly as Oregon oak, is a native oak tree species of the Pacific Northwest. It is also the focus of a special American single malt series from Seattle’s Westland Distillery. Two bottlings to date have been released under this moniker, and now edition three is set to hit the market.

Westland Garryana 2018, Edition 3|1, according to those behind it, takes a bit of a deviation from previous releases in that it showcases how supply fluctuations can challenge the distilling team to evolve the series in new directions. Whereas the earlier offerings married ratios of full-term matured Garry oak casks to traditional oak casks, the limited supply of Garry oak this time around forced Westland master distiller Matt Hofmann and blender Shane Armstrong to employ a series of vattings and casks finishes for this year’s edition.

The resulting whiskey features component whiskies that are each matured in a combination of casks, producing a complex integrated flavor profile. With a mash bill of 5-malt, Washington Select and heavily peated, the whiskey was aged in Garry oak, New American oak, 1st fill ex-bourbon, 1st fill ex-port and refill ex-Westland casks.

“Each year, we must begin with assessing what is available to us, and then be open to following a path that the cask and the whiskies reveal,” said Hofmann in a prepared statement. “Because we cannot rely on a formula, we must be inventive in the ways we work with the supply in order to end up with a whiskey we are proud of.”

Plans call for just 1,638 bottles of the 2018 Westland Garryana to hit retail, with a retail price of around $150 a bottle. It will be available in very limited numbers nationwide, and you’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration.

  • Nose: Notes of buckwheat honey, vanilla cream and milk chocolate with hints of subtle wood smoke, raspberry reduction and nutmeg.
  • Palate: Slightly savory rye bread, clove and floral notes balance the rich sweetness of Garry oak flavour.

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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