A great but pricey whiskey.
Notes: The newest and perhaps the smallest release from the crew at House Spirits, this whiskey joins the House Spirits portfolio which includes Aviation Gin, Medeyoff Vodka, or Krogstad Aquavit, and their Sugar Cane Molasses Rum, and Coffee Liqueur (both of which are in their limited somewhat experimental series).
For the sake of simplicity, and to hit all the points about the whiskey I am going to quote directly from their website “Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey is an original malt whiskey that is inspired by the Irish tradition, but crafted in a unique and distinctively American style. Every hand-numbered bottle begins with a wash of 100% locally-sourced Northwest two-row barley, which is then fermented with ale yeasts and double pot-distilled for exceptional character and depth. This rare spirit matures in full-size, two-char new American oak barrels for at least two years, allowing Oregon’s dry, hot summers and wet, cold winters to contribute to its rich, smooth flavor.”
A bit of a hybrid style we have cross listed the whiskey into a couple of categories.
Appearance: Caramel or amber color, clear as a bell and lovely to appreciate in the glass. On swirling it leaves a nice oily coat with legs rapidly forming.
First Impression: Nice Irish or Maybe Highland scotch notes to it at first blush,barley vanilla, spice ,honey
Taste: Nicely gain like with a honeyed barley and spice mix with a fruity roundness to it. Nice grain spice and barrel notes, this is a significant whiskey at just 2 years old. Should make for a beautiful, full mature whimsey in a later incarnation. Slight heat and burn and a somewhat short finish to it lets you know this is a young, fresh whiskey without setting your mouth on fire.
Drinks: I would not use this as a mixer but appreciate it in a decent whiskey glass.
Bottle: Almost a scale model of a whiskey bottle ( being a 375 ml or ½ size bottle), made of an exceptionally clear glass with a somewhat heavy glass foot, with rounded shoulders and a somewhat bulbous neck. Attractive parchment colored and gold edged label with some raised printing is in a attractive style. Back label has batch and bottle numbers. Capped with real natural cork and stopper ( that gives you that satisfying sound when you open the bottle) covered in a black sealing wax that is a trifle odd – it is frangible breaks into pieces when you pull the tab so be careful to do it over something so you can clean up the resulting pieces.
Other: Whiskies of this type straight – (meaning unblended with cheaper grain alcohol ) malt whiskey is quite rare, many Irish Whiskies are blends.
Cigars: A good cigar with some punch to it, a natural wrapper corona would be a good choice.
Final Thoughts: Lovely youngish whiskey, but downside is cost. Yes, it is a handmade,small batch whiskey from one of the best micros in the business but for the average whiskey drinker who is not into boutique whiskeys, I would give this a pass at its price ( about $100 for 750 ml/regular bottle size). But if you are an aficionado of rare or obscure whiskies (and used to paying for unusual and quality), you will enjoy this whiskey.
Almost a place holder, it is a one page affair and consists mainly of the quote in the second paragraph of the review above.