Westland's Fin(o)est Whisky

I got an email from a customer late last night, telling me:

Holy hell that's good! Thank you for continually brining in interesting and wonderful hooch for us to enjoy! I've only had once glass so far, but it's enough to require me to contact you. 

He was talking about our new cask of Westland; a whiskey that had just been released earlier that day.

I knew how good it was, but Kyle came out of the tasting bar yesterday on fire (and he’s too cool to get excited about anything). Our Sherry buyer Joe Manekin was also quite excited, mainly because he had never tasted a fino sherry matured whiskey until this point. I’ve teased the arrival of this whiskey before, but the wait is finally over. I’ve had distillers from all over the country calling to put bottles aside in advance, and even the guys from Westland have been emailing to make sure I’ll have extras for them. Yes, it’s that good.

I’ve told you how good I think Westland as a distillery is going to be (if you don’t know anything about Seattle’s single malt distillery click here), and this is the bottle that will convince you if you’re not yet a true believer. I'm hesitant to even sell this whiskey because it's going to do nothing but spoil you rotten. It's a total tease. This cask of Westland gives you a shining example of what fino sherry cask maturation can do, even though there are almost no fino sherry aged whiskies readily available for you to compare it against. The most prevalent on today's market is the Kavalan from Taiwan and that baby sells for $400. This Westland cask we secured is one of only two fino casks the distillery had available (one for K&L, the other to be divided among every other retailer). The whisky itself is utterly haunting. It's full of maple donut on the nose with more toffee and dried fruit on the palate. The finish is bold at 60% but a bit of water releases the toasted almonds and nougat. This is one of those whiskies where I actually will advocate for multiple bottle purchases, simply because we've never ever bought a proprietary cask of fino sherry-aged whisky in the history of our store. And God knows when we'll be able to again.

Westland K&L Exclusive Single Fino Sherry Butt #300 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $89.99 - In what will undoubtedly be one of our most-celebrated selections of the year, K&L is proud to present our first collaboration (and hopefully not the last) with renowned Seattle distiller Westland: a single fino sherry cask that represents one of the most delicious and rarest expressions made by the single malt producer to date. Fino sherry has a much more oxidative flavor than the much sweeter, and oft-used Oloroso sherry. Whisky matured in ex-fino butts tends to showcase flavors of dried fruit, almond skin, and marzipan with subtle nuances of caramel not normally seen in typical malt releases. Our barrel of Westland is no different. It's brimming with dried stonefruit, a healthy dose of salted caramel, and a big bold finish of creamy maple glaze. It's not for the faint of heart at 121.6 proof, but a bit of water can help temper the storm and stretch out all that fine fino flavor. If you weren't already convinced that Westland distillery was the next big thing for single malt whisky, this is the release that should make everything abundantly clear. This is shockingly good whisky, and it's only available at K&L.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll