Wednesday, 30 September 2015


The fourth tweet tasting for Wemyss (I was on the last one but missed the actual tasting due to circumstances out of my control), and I think I’ve finally learnt how to say and spell Wemyss.  These four are all NAS, and mostly NAS re-releases of blends that have previously been available as 8 or 12 year old whiskies – I don’t think they’ve suffered much from that.  No single cask stuff in here either (the single cask Wemyss I find consistently interesting and compelling) but that allows us to concentrate on the blends, which have the opportunity of course of being much more rounded, complete and easy to drink. 

The Hive (NAS), 46% A

hiveNose - Very light, some honey, vanilla pancake, digging for blonde oak and refill cask. Fresh ozone. Duskier cask with time and some air, Mcvities Gold Bars (thanks Joe), apple fritters and warm wax. Considerable digging though - this is a very gentle nose, but nicely balanced.

Body- Gently sweet and creamy, honeyed and soft on the initial delivery. Then quite unexpectedly spicy - baked plums, more vanilla.

Finish - Quite hot, wooded, some young cereal mellowed by toffee sweetness. Quite long too, unexpectedly insistent, in a good way.

Spice King (NAS), 46% A-

WemyssSpiceKingbottleNose - initially younger but then shows some interesting warm spice, funnily enough. Cinnamon, clove, warm toffee and furniture polish. definitely maxing on the "about to bake a chocolate cake" thing - dusty spice and cocoa, orange zest and chopped almonds.

Body - Very clean, clear and then lots of dry tannic wood and stick cinnamon. Well constructed - not overly sweet with a clear agenda. I'm reminded of pork crackling? Might just be the warm/Chinese spice thing. Soft and delicious.

Finish - Long, mulled wine, black pepper and soft oak. Spiced and wintery. At the end, it's a little bit firebally - there's not cinnamon actually added to this right?

This is a fine drink, a bit like Kings Ginger and Glenrothes is a fine drink.  But it’s not exactly what I’d reach for when I want a whisky.

Peat Chimney (NAS), 46% A

peatchimneyNose - Sweet and savoury, with a very light, woodsy smoke backing to it. Orange juice, rosemary and earth, very nice. Olives and wafer thin ham.

Body - Ripe, fruity and dried peat, well balanced and peppery. Hot dogs, lots of hot dogs, assuming that's Caol Ila. But overall its sweet and delicious.

Finish - Lots more dusty cinnamon - it must be a hangover from the Spice King. Spicy peat and a great amount of mango and oak.

Kiln Embers (NAS), 46% A+

kilnembersNose - Darkly sweet, lemon zest, orange juice, cut furniture and kaffir lime leaves? Earth again too- a deeply inviting nose. Quite sexy and very drinkable, why are peated blends so rare?

Body - Sweet, complex and delicious - peated blends are a good thing. Grape, pear juice, massive tannins and coca cola.

Finish - Pineapple cubes and gentle peat. Long and lemony, fishermans friends, balanced by more coke. Quite delicious, and more accomplished than the Peat Chimney.

Thanks Wemyss and Steve at the Whisky Wire for a great tasting!

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