American Single Malt at its Finest: K&L Exclusive Westland “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead – American Whisky News


A Very Rare Opportunity to Secure the Best in American Single Malt
Westland K&L Exclusive “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
“It’s safe to say that the Westland Distillery deserves its spot atop the Craft Distilling pyramid.”
—David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

Easily among the most exciting projects in American whiskey is the work being done at Westland Distillery in Washington state. This is a group that’s so committed to their craft that they absolutely refuse to cut corners or spare any expense. The resulting whiskies are among the most heavenly we’ve experienced and rival some of the finest drams out of Scotland. It is for these very reasons that we count ourselves fortunate to partner with such a very special team.

Westland’s master distiller, Matt Hofmann, graduated from the same prestigious university in Edinburgh that the masters in Scotland attend. He brought his craft to the Pacific Northwest and committed to doing it better than anyone else. He examined every input and calculated every variable. His system allows for extremely interesting experimentation, within the parameters of what he knows will still create quality malt. He’s tweaked and improved on every aspect of the Scottish process, adopting previously discarded standards with a goal of creating the most delicious possible whisky. Westland isn’t afraid to spend more if the final product benefits from that investment. Quality and character over efficiency and profit.

That’s why we’re so proud to partner with Westland for a second time. This rare Pedro Ximenez Hogshead spent less than half a decade in the damp Cascadian climate, but has still developed into one of the most intense and undeniably delicious craft whiskies we’ve ever sold. Few malt whiskies will compare to this unctuous beast, and none that we’ve found stateside.


Westland K&L Exclusive “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

The exceptional Westland distillery is easily considered one of the United States top single malt distilleries. That’s something that’s hard to believe considering they only opened their doors in 2010, just eight short years ago. But what Westland did right was commit. They committed to making the very best American single malt that they possibly could. They took what Scotland had perfected centuries earlier and instead of upending the tradition like so many craft distillers, they improved and adapted it to make this uniquely Scottish whisky distinctly Pacific Northwestern. In a lot of ways Westland is one of the most traditional single malt distilleries in the US. They put their unique twist on the thing in subtle but effective ways. And we noticed years ago when we first tasted this whisky, just how incredible this distillery truly is. We immediately sprang into action, visiting this special place and learning more about the incredible people running it. Somehow we acquired one of the very few single casks to ever make it out of Washington, a fino butt. In the years that followed, the distillery won accolades and top-tier investment from Remy Cointreau, but we never managed to snag another one. Now after pestering our friends on the Sound for years, they finally relented. They distilled this 100% WA state Pale Two Row and filled it into a fresh PX hoggie at 125 proof. After years maturing in the Pacific Northwest’s humid climate, we’ve got another stunner. We’re honored.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2018

I think it’s safe to say that the Westland Distillery deserves its spot atop the craft distilling pyramid. The craft spirits category is dominated by distillers who are trying to do it all. That worked for St. George because they started 30 years ago and CAN actually do everything well, but very few people will ever replicate that model. So instead, distillers search for a way to do it different, to stand out, to change a category. The problem with changing a category like say single malt, is that it’s been changing for hundreds of years. It’s hard to argue that the Scottish haven’t figured it out pretty well. SO the question shouldn’t be, “how can we change this?” It should be, “how can we make it better?” And that’s exactly what Westland has done. They’ve stayed dedicated and focused completely on producing exceptional and eclectic single malt. They examined closely every possible aspect of the process and adjusted subtle quality components to create a product that is uniquely theirs, yet falls well within the boundaries of acceptable/traditional single malt. The results are no less than astonishing than their rise to prominence. I’ve always appreciated what they were able to achieve within their core range, but having been to the distillery and tasted countless single cask versions, there’s little doubt the true heights are only achieved with these singular expressions. So when Matt phoned up to say he’d be in town with samples, I cleared my schedule. It’s been YEARS since we’ve even been considered as a potential partner for their single cask program and the huge majority of single casks seems to sell in and around the distillery. It wasn’t an easy choice. There were some big bold peaters in the bunch and some elegant aromatic American Oak barrels, but there was just no way that I could let this sweet little number walk away. This ultra-concentrated Pedro Ximinez sherry hogshead is the total package. Dense nose full of dried fruit, deep malt, and spiced cakes. The absolutely jaw-aching texture belies the youth of the whisky, which can’t be very old, but packs a punch like Mike. With water this stuff builds intensity and some salinity, while staying sweet enough to keep from being astringent. I’m sort of loving this with only the tiniest drop added. If more whisky came out of Westland like this, we might have to call it the Kavalan of Cascadia, but I think this one is a bit of an outlier. And that’s just where we like ’em—off the charts.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

It’s no secret that Westland makes the finest American single malts. What I think flies under the radar is why. After training in Scotland, the founders considered how they could take the best of the Northwest and apply it to whisky making for the better. Obviously there is a rich beer culture in Washington and that history played a large role in creating Westland. The long-standing tradition of using different levels of roasted malt for beer production has been applied to Westland’s whisky making with incredible success. Using five different malts, they achieve an incredibly rich and complex base spirit that is perfectly on display in the classic American oak single malt in their core lineup. That same mash was used here, and elevated to an even richer level by the fresh PX cask. Under the sweet rancio blend of dried fruits, brown sugar, and crème brûlée, the chocolate tones of roasted malt meld with the brighter golden hues of classic whisky malt. While the distillery is still young, it has an incredible track record of success and this cask is one more piece of the foundation supporting Westland’s reign at the top of American single malt.

William Beare | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

This American single malt is so good I think I just felt an uncommon rush of patriotism. Could we as a country finally be entering the single-malt big leagues? Probably not. But Westland is! This does not feel in any way like a bastardization, nor does it feel like a lesser copy. This is something new. It is innovative—but at the same time remains a whiskey that clearly respects its history. The first wave of flavor packs candied chestnuts, cigar box spice, and the exotically piquant elements we love sherry for for bringing to the table. Lining that illustrious flavor profile is the incredible aroma of the roasted malt, adding layers of chicory coffee and chocolate.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

The nose begins with a heap of molasses and burnt sugar accompanied by a rich mix of baking spice and some breadiness. The Pedro Ximenez character comes through in a distinct and complex rancio. At the same time, this whiskey bombards with earthy forest floor notes, rich overripe fruits, and some wonderfully funky oxidized aromas. The palate keeps with this strong mix of sweet and savory. Theres a nice nutty character that fades into roasted nut shells; theres caramel that fades into burnt sugar; theres cinnamon candy that becomes a spice blend toasted on the stove top and dark rye loaf.

Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2018

Before I could even put my nose to the glass, the aroma was already overtaking the room. Prunes and candied plums followed by a distinct sherry note reminded me of the comfort of being with my late grandmother and put me in a nostalgic mindset. After the addition of some water, nutmeg, tobacco, and oak became more prominent on the nose. The palate was a little tight going in so I added a splash of water to see how it would open up. Initially I got some fruity and oaky esters and with the addition of water, cherry pits and brown sugar notes started to emerge. The finish was long with some nice spice and red fruit to it with a familiar coco nib nod at the very end.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2018

People who like sherry-aged or finished whiskeys should love this single-cask bottling. The sherry influence comes forward in a nice way, adding flavor and complexity. In the mouth, this whiskey is rich , round, and juicy. It is complex and easy with a nice mouth feel. There is a wonderful nutty finish. It is good both straight or with a touch of water.

Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2018

This is A LOT of whisky packed in a 750 ml bottle… I love the effect of the PX hogshead as it hits the senses twice: once on the nose, where the hazelnut rounds out the richness of soft, silky, caramel; and again on the lingering finish, where walnut and pecans sit around your tongue for a long time. The whisky is deliciously full bodied, but not cloying, round, and super flavorful. Put one in your cart or stop in for a holiday sipper!

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