Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey

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Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey

I have read a little about this American single malt whiskey and I found it all the more interesting in that it comes from one of my favorite places to visit – Seattle.

This particular variation of Westland whiskey comes from the mix of a peated malt mash and a 100% Washington state pale malt.   The whiskey is aged for a minimum of two years in a combination of 1st-filled ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.   It is bottled at 46% ABV, non-chill filtered, and no coloring added.

I did not find as much of a peat influence as I anticipated on the nose.  It has more of a floral presence with a bit of fruit sweetness.  There is smoke, but it is not pronounced.  But, on first sip I did find the smoke coming more forward, balanced well with floral dimensions and a little dry white wine.  On mid-palate I find something more like sherry-influenced sweetness intertwined with light peat.  The finish is relatively short.

I really like this whiskey.  For being as young as it is, it has an impressive balance and smoothness.   While I have tasted other American single malts that I have also liked, none have been as close to the flavor profile of Scotch whisky as the Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey.  It does not have an Islay-level peat.  I think the parallel might be more in the character of a lightly peated whisky from Campbeltown.

I can see why this whiskey has earned so much recognition and several awards.  I certainly plan to keep a bottle in my cabinet. It is a very good single malt whiskey at a very reasonable price level.

I hope that I can arrange a visit to the Westland distillery on my next trip to Seattle.  It would be a nice addition to the usual detours to Canon and the Whisky Bar.

Springbank 15

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Springbank 15, 46% ABV, non-chill filtered.

It has been a while since I last sampled a dram of Springbank. The Springbank distillery is family-owned and located in the Campbeltown region.  Back in 2014, when I was first trying my hand at tasting notes, I wrote a bit about Springbank 10.  As brief as my notes are these days, I was even less verbose back then!

Now, I am trying my hand at capturing the quality of Springbank 15.  This single malt whiskey is finished in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

On the nose I first get the scent of sherry that is complemented with a citrus element – perhaps orange peel.  There is also a subtle peat element.  The first sip brings buttery sherry balanced with light peat and sea salt.  I find a little smoke on mid-palate.  It is smooth and balanced throughout. Finish is moderate and dry, with a tease of peat smoke.

I find myself wondering why it took me so long to get back to a Springbank whisky again.  It is a really fun dram.  It does not have as much peat as Islay whisky, I recall reading that it has about 8 PPM, but it has just enough to tease my tastes for a peated whisky.

Sometimes, when I try a single malt whisky with this age profile, I do not find the combination of taste and balance that I anticipate.  However, I do not find that disappointment here.  The overall profile of this whisky is very pleasurable.  I will not take so long to visit it again.