A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to take part in a Wemyss Malt Tweet Tasting, thanks to both the distiller itself and Steve Rush at The Whisky Wire. After a look at the company the other day, here’s my run-down of Wemyss’ core blended range. Just bear in mind, Wemyss tends to name its whisky after how they taste…
The Hive – 40% ABV
This is a blend of 16 malt whiskies, built around a Speyside style with whisky that has been matured in both fresh and refill sherry casks. The sherry influence isn’t immediately obvious on the nose, with more malty flavours coming to the fore – fresh and light, with a hint of vanilla. This changes on the palate, with the sherry influence coming to bear. Although not as sweet as the nose, it’s very creamy, with a kick of spice and cinnamon at the end. Adding water opens it up a little but the kick is still there.
Spice King – 40% ABV
This is Wemyss signature Highland and Islands malts and is created from around ten single malts from across Scotland. The aromas of the Spice King call to mind other West Highland malts, with a balance of smoke, pepper and citrus fruit, including lemon and orange. The Spice King really lets rip on the palate though, which is spicy, spicy, spicy and finishes intensely.
Peat Chimney – 40% ABV
You can probably guess where we’re going with Peat Chimney – a vatting of 16 different whiskies with a hefty glug of 12 year old Islay whisky to bring that hit of peat, although for me, it’s not quite there on the nose, which is driven by sweet flavours such as honey and toffee. Yes, the smoke is there on the palate, but it reminds me more of a Jura than an Islay malt. That classic smoke-citrus pairing is present though and the finish is very rich.
Kiln Ember – 46% ABV
Added to the range just a couple of months ago, Kiln Ember has double the amount of smoky Islay whisky than Peat Chimney, and it limited to just 12,000 bottles worldwide. The nose was sweeter than I was expecting, although the smoke is there along with a bit of sea salt. Now, this is much more like an Islay malt– lots of smoke, but coupled with warming and spicy embers (see what I did there) also coming through. Reminds me of a wet day on Islay.
All in all, a great blended range from Wemyss Malts, which doesn’t suffer the burn that you’ll get with some other blends. If I had to plump for one favourite (feel free to send me a whole bottle guys!), it would have to be The Hive, which is full of the Speyside goodness that just hits the right spot.