Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt

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Courage & Conviction

Country: USA - Oregon 
Distillery: Westward Whiskey
Type: Single Malt
Age: NAS
Cask: New American Oak 
ABV: 45%
Proof: 90
Price: $100

Nose: Bright berry notes are strong at the beginning. Maple, stewed fruits, caramel, hay, vanilla, and zesty character.

Palate: The texture is not very oily but not watery at all. Black pepper dominates which is then followed by chestnut, dry spices, and almost hoppy distillate. With a little bit of water, it opens up to be more refined with chocolate notes.

Finish: Medium finish with oak tannins. A generous feeling of black peppers.

If you have been following me for a while, you probably know that I have had a keen interest in the American single malt whiskey category from the very beginning. In the last couple of years, the category started to grow with distilleries bringing new products every other day now. One of the pioneers of the category, Westward Whiskey from Portland, Oregon is also one of those distilleries which never stopped developing. I recently reviewed their incredible Milestone American Single Malt on my Instagram account. Today, I am reviewing the newest addition to Westward Club Exclusive Release, the Vienna Malt.

Happy accidents always make good stories in the whisky business. Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt also has one of those stories. Faced with an unexpected delivery of Vienna malted barley instead of the usual two-row pale, the creators of Westward Whiskey were at a crossroads: to stick to the familiar path or embrace the unknown. They chose the latter and decided to see what will come out of this accident. 

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt close up

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt Westward Club Exclusive Release

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt was distilled in 2019 using 100% 2-row Vienna Malt and Chico yeast which in this case is important. Chico yeast strain is known for its clean character, meanwhile, from my experience, Vienna malt brews can be characterized as full-body with intense honey and biscuity flavors.

The nose of this whiskey greets you with an inviting brightness, where strong berry notes leap forward, woven with layers of maple, stewed fruits, caramel, hay, vanilla, and an unmistakable zesty character. On the palate, it strikes a delicate balance, neither too oily nor watery, dominated by a bold black pepper that gives way to nuances of chestnut, dry spices, and an almost hoppy distillate. A splash of water transforms the experience, softening the edges to reveal sophisticated chocolate undertones. The journey concludes with a medium finish, where oak tannins and a generous sprinkle of black pepper linger, leaving a memorable impression.

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt at Whisky Monster HQ

Westward Whiskey Vienna Malt

This whiskey is a non-age statement whiskey, but thinking of the distilling year as 2019, the oldest it can be is 4 years old. Just like my Clermont Steep American Single Malt Whiskey review, I do believe that this age is not showing the actual potential of this single malt whiskey. However, it is a great testament to see how Vienna malt can impact the character of Westward, but again, a couple more years of aging could result in a very complex whiskey in my opinion.