Review #81: Westland Peat Week 2019

“Wow, Balvenie really changed their branding,” is what I privately thought when I noticed the bright yellow and red circus themed Westland Peat Week bottle across the bar. I vaguely remembered that I had tried the Balvenie Peat Week at one point but could not remember if I liked it or not. Still thinking it was Balvenie, I ordered a dram.

Once they brought the bottle over, I finally made the mental connection that there may be more than one distillery that wants to name their product Peat Week. In the case of Balvenie, it is because the distillery will convert one week of the year to using peated barley. What had me confused is that Westland has a year round peated expression that I have tried before (it is good), but the Peat Week is definitely on a tier of its own.

Westland’s Peat Week is thus named because Westland’s annual weeklong celebration of events at their distillery, aimed at celebrating creativity in a Pacific Northwest style. They named the week Peat Week and release a commemorative bottling using grains imported from the UK. The bottles go fast.

The 2019 edition that we tried specifically uses a 55ppm Baird’s heavily peated distiller’s malt (vs Westland’s 5 malt mix that is used in their standard peated whisky). The 5 barrels used range from 3 to 5 years, including two ex-bourbon, one new American, and new refill American oak.

Coming into it not knowing anything about the whiskey, we were really surprised by how much we both liked it. It tastes… like an amaro-lover’s type of whisky. Tasting notes below.

2019 Peat Week Westland
Westland Peat Week 2019 Review
  • Score - 8/10
    8/10
Overall
8/10
8/10

Summary

Nose: Smoke, salt water, buttercream frosting. Strawberry candy and sweet cigar smoke. Only slightly medicinal. Kinda root beer and cola
 
Palate: Tastes like an amaro heavy whisky. Green chilies, caramel, toffee, smokey oak. Root beer. Slight tingle.
 
Finish: Dried damp fall leaves. Strongly tannic, oak.
 
Overall: 8/10. Pleasantly surprised by this dram. Probably the best American peated whisky we have tried. What would improve it is rounding off the very tannic bitter aftertaste.
 
TLDR;: A whisky for amaro-lovers.
 
Bought for: ~$8/0.75 oz pour at Elixir Saloon in SF. Retails for $77 (but hard to find on shelves)

Quick overview of our scoring system


About Westland:

  • Located in Seattle, Washington and founded in 2010, with its first release in 2013
  • Tends to use a mixture of 5 malts, ranging from a pale malt to a chocolate malt. More about their malts can be found on their site here.

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