By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
We I visited Portland back in the summer of 2018, I totally blown away by the scale with which House Spirits has committed to their Westward Single Malt. These guys are distilling lots of great whiskey and while other brands constantly release special editions, new expressions and one offs, Westward has devoted itself to one singular product. The results are in the bottle, but I finally convinced them that the world wanted more! After a year of waiting, we finally have it. This insane cask of 6 year old Single Malt bottled at full strength is one of the most interesting things we've ever put into the bottle. I've always been worried about how older American Single Malt would handle the oak, but this cask proves there's no limit to the amount of age, when you start with a robust flavor spirit. On first nosing, you're overwhelmed by deep dark chocolate maltiness. Powerful aromas of roasted hazelnuts, grilled peach, red fruit compote, exotic honey, woodsy underbrush and zesty citrus peel. On the palate it's pure malt framed by dark tea, sweet caramel and powerful spice. But add a few splashes of water and you've got something much more supple and quaffable. Now we move into the gorgeous orchard fruit, honeysuckle, nougat, cracked pepper and subtle herbal under tons. The palate continues with the bright malt, stones fruits and some pepper, but finishes long and warming like a glass of sweet barley tea. I've rarely come across craft single malt this complex and put together. The style is the perfect balance between the bold malt flavors and the heady woodsy aromatics that an American whiskey drinker might love. I don't know if I'd call this a crossover whiskey because it just feels like it should inherently appeal to anyone, but it's certainly one of the most exciting products we have in the store right now.