Tag Archives: TTB

Westward American Single Malt Whiskey Tasting, 45% to 46%

American Single Malt Whiskey is a ‘thing’ – well almost.

Proposals from the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission – AMWSC – have been forwarded to the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – TTB – to give definition & legal framework for the category.

While the legislation catches up with evolution in the drinks industry – I’m more interested in how this American Single Malt Whiskey actually tastes!

A online tasting by the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder was too good to miss.

Sadly – after I’d decanted my samples into my favourite Túath Whiskey Glasses to breathe – the gig was rescheduled!

Undeterred – I tasted away!

Westward Single Malt, 45%

As Thomas Mooney – cofounder of ASMWC & Westward Whiskey – is behind this whiskey I’d assume it complies with the ASMWC proposals.

100% barley – grown in Oregon for a touch of terroir – distilled & matured in Portland using lightly charred oak barrels & presented at 45%

The nose was a trifle shy – clean, fresh, malty with woody vanillas.

A gentle smooth palate.

Slight oakiness towards the rear with a flourish of tannic spice to round things off.

A very pleasant easy single malt to start the show rolling.

Westward Single Malt Stout Cask 46%

Lovely rich expressive & inviting nose.

Heavy palate feel – almost chocolatey.

Oh yes! – Enjoying this one.

Lovely touch of prickly heat on the rear too!

My kinda malt!

Westward Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask 45%

Soft gentle nose with hints of sweet fruitiness.

The summer fruits come to the fore on the palate.

Clean fresh finish dries out leaving a pleasing prickly spice.



Without a doubt the Stout Cask won me over. Not that the others weren’t good whiskey – just not as inviting on my palate.

Unlike other beer/whiskey cask collaborations Westward matured their whiskey for a year in locally sourced stout barrels & the results certainly shone for me.

All 3 of these malts stand up very well against anything Scotland & Ireland has to offer.

As ever the competition within the spirits sector increases constantly.

A wonderful trio of American Single Malts to launch the category.


All bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

The Busker Irish Whiskey, Royal Oak Distillery

The long anticipated release of Irish Whiskey from the Royal Oak Distillery in Co Carlow finally seems to be over.

Bottle & label designs have been approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in America.

The Busker range appears to consist of a Single Grain, 44.3%.

Busker SG
Single Grain c/oTTB/Colasonline

Single Malt, 44.3%.

Busker SM
Single Malt c/oTTB/Colasonline

Single Pot Still, 44.3%,

Busker SPS
Single Pot Still c/oTTB/Colasonline

and a Blend, 40%.

Busker B
Triple Cask c/oTTB/Colasonline

As yet the only information available is from these labels – which may differ from the actual releases in various regions.

I find the bold design quite refreshingly striking – and can’t wait to have the actual bottle in my hands.

Especially as it will allow me to taste the all important Irish Whiskey inside!

After the parting of waves between Walsh Distillery founders Bernard & Rosemary Walsh and Royal Oak owners Illva Saronno– it appears the division was between a ‘premiumisation’ strategy versus a more mass market approach.

This is played out in the Irish Whiskey community too.

In an expanding & more diverse Irish Whiskey market both strategies are possible.

I’m certainly looking forward to sampling the fruits of Royal Oak’s labours  –  at a hopefully palatable price!


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