Review: The Spice King 8 Years Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (Wemyss) / by Jason Hambrey

8 Years
100% Malt Whisky
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

Wemyss, based in Edinburgh, does a series of blended malt whiskies, The Spice King, The Hive, and The Peat Chimney along with their other products. This one, The Spice King, focuses on malts from the Highlands with an emphasis on spicy characteristics, and is made from 16 malts.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: A lightly peaty nose with some apricot, apple seeds, light dried fruit, and some earthy spice – cinnnamon, nutmeg. There is a decent spice cake character to this, and it contains a bit of a nutty rancio note from sherry casks and the lightly musty apple seed notes reminding me of fino sherry. It’s not overly spicy, but has some baking spices in the mix and a bit of a white pepper characteristic. There’s a bit of a bready character to this, as in some well aged cognacs. The nose comes together nicely and I find good complexity and balance.

Taste: A light sweet and smoky body with a good dose of dryness, especially at the end. There is light oak, raisins, and a fair bit of vanilla sweetness in the mix. The toffee and composition of the malt brings toffee to mind, as it has a bit of a buttery character. Not overly spicy, though, and not particularly hot.

Finish: Lightly peaty on the finish, with some more apple seeds, sherry-type nuttiness, and some nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The sweetness continues on the finish.

A nicely crafted malt – nuttiness, baking spices, and apple coming together fairly well with a good balance of sweetness. A good casual malt that can be moderately challenging – but certainly easy to sip.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $65.