The third release of Westland’s unique single malt, aged in Garryana oak barrels that are sourced from the Pacific Northwest, has arrived. What’s new in the “Garry Oak” series with edition #3? Once again, fans are in for a twist that takes this spirit in a whole new direction:
Unlike the previous two editions, which married ratios of full-term matured Garry oak casks to traditional oak casks, the limited supply of Garry oak forced 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.
The bottom line: Less Garryana.
And here’s how it tastes.
As with all of the Garryana releases, this is an unusual whiskey, smoky and beefy on the nose, and densely woody, though not in the traditional sense that you get with, say, a Kentucky bourbon. It’s more savory, more wintry. Hints of tea leaf aromas offer a touch of the exotic on top of that. It’s a hot whiskey on the palate, with some of the hallmarks of youth hitting immediately — lots of fresh grain and raw wood — but tempered by an oily, nutty character on the palate, with cherry and cola notes both emerging in time.
Water is a huge help with this whiskey. In fact, if you really want to enjoy it I’d say it’s almost non-negotiable. A healthy splash of H2O helps to temper the heat, and coax out more of the fruit. Without water, the sharp, lingering finish just sits on the back of the throat with a bit too much aggressiveness.
112 proof. 1638 bottles produced.