Review: Westward Whiskey “Women of Westward” Benefit Barrel

To help celebrate Women’s History Month, Westward Whiskey recently release two single barrel offerings benefitting charities. The Oregon-based distillery is donating 100% of the proceeds of the two “Women of Westward” releases to Al Otro Lado and Black Mamas Matter Alliance. The extremely limited edition bottlings are available to purchase at the distillery and select Oregon retailers.

The barrels were selected by Westward’s all-woman tasting panel consisting of women in the spirits industry, including:

Alexis Belton-Tinoco (she/her): Bar Director, The Aviary
Charity Selection: Al Otro Lado
Ashtin Berry (she/her): Bartender, Educator, Equity Worker
Charity Selection: Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Emily Mistell (she/her): Owner/Beverage Director, Hey Love
Charity Selection: Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Lauren Paylor (she/her): Owner + Co-Founder Focus on Health
Charity Selection: Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Natasha David (she/her): Co-Owner, You & Me Cocktails
Charity Selection: Al Otro Lado
Tiffanie Barriere (she/her): Bartender, Educator, Innovator
Charity Selection: Al Otro Lado

Of the two available barrels, I was sent a sample of Barrel #2 – the one available nationally (barrel #1 is only available in Oregon). The whiskey was distilled on 1/27/16 from a mash bill made up of 100% two row pale malted barley. The resulting whiskey was proofed to 45% abv for bottling.

The nose is filled with hints of ripe banana and toffee, and a touch of cardamon and oak spice. On the palate, the distillery’s official tasting notes hit home with mention of banana bread topped with crushed walnuts. There’s a creaminess that’s reminiscent of vanilla-flavored coffee cream as well. After the initial wave washes over the palate, a nice spiciness emerges, as well as a fresh ginger note that all but cleanses the palate. The medium finish carries lingering notes of sweet malt, stewed fruit, and oak spice.

This is a great example of what a single barrel can bring to the table. While it features flavors from the standard Westward Whiskey bottling, banana bread and vanilla notes are brought to the forefront. It’s a fantastic $99 American malt whiskey that benefits charity. Do you really need another reason to pick up this bottle?

Thanks to Westward Whiskey for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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