Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Westland 2016 "Peat Week" 100 proof (NAS)

Westland is the only "craft" distillery in America that I adore. I've visited thrice and have been consistently impressed with their single casks and shelf releases.

And they're making so many exciting advances with domestic peat and special barley, farmed in Washington state. We ought to commend their sincere commitment to innovation, and their first "all Washington" peated bottles should start coming out in 2018, I believe.

So let's test out this 2016 "Peat Week" edition, which is made with barley that isn't peated at Westland.

It's a light peat on the nose, the "fresh asphalt" kind you might find in a peated BenRiach or Jura. That's not a bad thing, but it's not the Islay kind you might be used to. There are some graham cracker notes too and sweet malt.

And it tastes like that too: light peat, toasted bread and moderate spice. It's quite sweet (likely a result of its youth) and a tad dilute, despite being 100 proof. So the whole thing comes off as missing a second gear, though its one gear performs admirably.

84 points, B-/B. It's not a case of there being anything "wrong" with it, but it's a bit sugary for me, and given the price ($100), I can't fully recommend it. Doesn't reach the heights of the 2014 & 2015 "Peat Week" bottles, but still, I've had no trouble moving through the bottle. If you dig younger peated Bunnahabhain indie casks, you'll enjoy this.

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