Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Westland. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Seattle Washington’s Westland Distillery each year holds a celebration of tradition and creativity, where classic styles are made with Pacific Northwest inspiration. Known as Peat Week, tickets are sold, and events are held mostly at their distillery near the heart of the city. Tied to it as well is a release of a limited edition peated single malt that’s typically made with grains imported from the UK.
We’ve covered their Peat Week releases before, and have interviewed their distiller Matt Hoffman. Highly regarded as a single malt haven, Westland Distillery was also acquired by Remy Cointreau in 2016. As a pioneer in the American Single Malt category, Westland is setting the scene for expectation using local products and ingredients. Exceptional quality has followed, and the support of a huge French spirits company will surely help push them along even farther.
It seems the best way to experience Peat Week would be a visit to Seattle itself (this year the event occurred during the last week in January) where you can explore what they have to offer first hand, and enjoy the parties while you’re at it. Their rustic tasting room has a variety of locally sourced meats and cheeses, cocktails, and a selection of their current special release whiskeys. The Peat Week bottling is marketed with out of the ordinary artwork, a contemporary take on old school comic books. What’s inside is definitely to be a surprise as well!
*This is the 2018 bottling, while their Peat Week occurred early 2019.
Tasting Notes: Westland Peat Week (2018)
Vital Stats: 100 proof, 50% ABV; 36-63 months of age; 5 casks – 2 1st fill Ex-Bourbon, 2 Ex-Westland American Oak, 1 New American Oak (Cooper’s Reserve); 100% malted barley – Baird’s heavily peated distiller’s malt at 55ppm phenol content; 1,083 750mL bottles; $80-$100.
Appearance: Light straw. Unordinary bottle label, eye popping design reminiscent of WW2 propaganda.
Nose: Sweet melon, banana and savory peat smoke along with ash.
Palate: Medium to light body, yet very direct flavor that begins with slight iodine and sour dairy. Ashy peat on the palate matches the nose, ever looming but not overwhelming. Herbal with hints of wood and ash, green fruit, and sweet lemonade. Smokey and nutty finish lingers pleasantly.
A wonderful young whiskey, it has enough complexity to keep you guessing on each sip. It evolves nicely in the glass and creates for an exciting dram! There is obvious quality behind the process, leaving one extremely curious of what a 8 or 12 year version of this whiskey could result in. I find the peat is balanced with the tasting notes, but am left wanting a bit more depth and viscosity to carry the complexity out. A unique and delicious whiskey nonetheless!
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After graduating with an engineering degree in Colorado, Cameron Holck discovered his passion for hospitality. He followed his love of the outdoors into the Pacific Northwest where he continues his dedication to bartending, and as a sales representative for Four Roses Bourbon. He warmly welcomes the fact that a night...