** This is the latest post in a series by Mack McConnell called West Coast Whiskey. Mack’s a contributing writer for Cocktail Enthusiast. When he’s not writing about scotch, he’s probably drinking it. He also runs Taster’s Club Scotch of the Month. **
For the latest installment of West Coast Whiskey, we’re moving north along the coast. Just outside of Seattle, Woodinville Whiskey Company is one of the newer players on the whiskey scene and has already managed to put out some solid products.
Woodinville currently produces a bourbon and a 100% rye. But what they’re best known for is their Headlong White Dog Whiskey, which is unaged and bottled straight from the still.
Made from a bourbon mash bill, Headlong White Dog Whiskey doesn’t receive the “bourbon” title, because it skips the barrel aging process (bourbon must be in barrels for a minimum of two years). You’ll also notice that it doesn’t bare the classic bourbon color – again because it skips the barrels completely. Without this barrel influence, you’re left with a unique flavor profile of corn syrup and fresh green leaves.
For me, drinking Headlong was a great lesson in barrel aging – you can understand what a barrel contributes to a whiskey by removing it from the equation. You’ll immediately notice that there isn’t the spice, caramel and oak tones that are typical of American whiskey. But, barrel or no barrel, Woodinville’s White Dog is a solid product.
Color: Clear, transparent
Nose: A sweet fruity aroma – nectarines, white plums and bananas. There is also a candy note reminiscent of light marmalade and sugar, plus a bit of caramel.
Taste: This has a light mouthfeel, probably because it didn’t undergo the evaporation that typically occurs during barrel aging. There’s corn and barley, plus some fruit — bananas, nectarines, crisp apple and creamy coconut.
Finish: The finish is medium length and reinforces the sweetness tasted initially. It’s more of a complex fruit sweetness than corn sweetness. For an unaged whiskey, the finish is surprisingly complex and deep, and a bit of spiciness comes out near the end.
Woodinville spirits can be purchased throughout Oregon and Washington. If you live elsewhere, you can find them online.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume