Westland Peat Week 2016 [Mystery]

Thanks to /u/smoked_herring for this mystery dram.

Peat. Does it go with everything? Is it like honey, that seemingly pairs well in all cases, from toast to sexy times to washing your hair? Or is it like peanut butter, which works for some of those things, and makes bears attack you in the other two cases?

Westland Peat Week 2016 was handed to me blind to try and figure that out. Would those crazy (I’m assuming) hippies at Westland take a veritable week of peat and make liquid gold? Or would it be the other liquid that’s close in colour?

This is the third annual release. Westland loves peat. So they have a full week of events, parties, and I’m assuming drinking. All of that ends with the whisky coming out, and I’m assuming a bunch of people calling in sick a few days.

What is it? A single malt, distilled from a copper pot still, aged in eight casks, of which five are first-fill bourbon and three are new American oak casks. Age is anywhere between 25 and 37 months.

Did it work? Let’s see, shall we?

Price: £50 at auction

Region: Washington

Bottled: 2016

Casks Used: Five first-fill bourbon casks and three new American oak casks.

Number of bottles: 2,136

Abv: 50%

Colour: 5Y 9/6

Nose: Brine, cantaloupe, brown sugar, coconut

Salty, some fruit, and that cask influence of the ex-bourbon and the new oak is here. It wasn’t overly peaty to me. Nothing crazy coming from it.

Granted I’m a peat head, so perhaps I’m used to whisky being strong now. But let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot just yet.

Taste: Rock candy, plum, caramel, chocolate, coconut There’re elements of the rough spirit here, but through the use of the raw casks we’ve gotten some nice peat development here. Think of a Bounty Bar, but I’m old enough to enjoy them now because my inner child is dead.

Finish: Pear, butter, oak, vanilla, smoke, brine

Here’s the raw smoke I was expecting. Still brash, more of the ex-bourbon going on, sweet is still there but it’s oak dominant.

Conclusion: Bit brash, but has some potential. Frankly, there are some 12-year-old whiskies out there that push to taste like this at 43%. Is this harder to get? Yes, and probably more expensive too.

I like the idea of playing around with peated whiskies. I like the idea of craft distilleries trying hard and releasing something “on the way” from better casks. And that’s what this is. It certainly tastes better than other whiskies I’ve had that were sold for that purpose.

It does need some time though. So I’m left with what I always feel when I review a Westland; I’ll keep trying these, but I want a time machine for when they really start shining.

73/100

Guess: Loch Lomond 12

Actually: Westland Peat Week 2016

Bourbon review #259, Washinton review #4, Whiskey Network review #1829

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