Assay #11F01, Bottle 1068.
Once again, I look at High West to try out another whiskey category: this time, the un-aged oak whiskey (admittedly, a rather limited category, but hey! It's available in Québec).
Nose: Very powerful, and also very different from any whisky I've tried before: it actually reminds me a bit of white tequila. I find it hard to describe, but I agree with Victor's assessment of "Sweet n' Sour". I believe I smell strawberries and some metal (probably copper from the pot still), but I'm probably off. Subjectively, I don't care much for that nose, and the strength of it doesn't help matters.
Palate: The palate does not follow the nose (luckily for me). It is light bodied, moderately sweet, with very light spice.
Finish: Moderate length, sweet, mild burn and some very light herbal character.
Balance: Once you stop smelling it, this whiskey has a good balance for something that's missing half of its flavors (that would come from aging). It is light and easy to drink.
It's a good whiskey, but the nose really kills it for me. Hopefully, we'll see an aged version someday. I fear this particular bottle is going to sit in my cabinet, until I decide to try it again in a few months to see if its aromas have mellowed a bit.
@Matthieu, thank you for a nice review. A sour and often strong nose is something common with unaged spirits. It is hard to find spirits with mellow noses if there is no wood aging present. What really intrigues me about this and other unaged Oat whiskeys (eg Koval Oat) is how sweet they are, especially on the palate. There is no wood aging to give natural wood sugars to the spirit, and I strongly doubt that these US made products have any additives whatsover. It would seem that either there is something about oat mash fermentation that leaves some unfermented sugars present, or that there is some natural chemical component in the oat mash that has a flavour that appears to the senses as 'sweet' (eg like stevia is sweet). In any case I like that there is sweetness in these oat whiskeys. They are upbeat and cheerful, like Christmas cookies. And, @Matthieu, like you, I also would like to see what happens with these oat whiskeys when you age them in wood for a few years. I am guessing that after 4-6 years that new wood might well overshadow the oat flavours. If I were trying the experiment I would go for 2-3 years for my oat whiskey in new wood, or 4-6 years of my oat whiskey in used wood. And, @Matthieu, if you have trouble finishing your bottle of High West Silver Whiskey Western Oat, it makes a good cocktail mixer. If you send an e-mail to High West they probably have suggestions.