Wemyss

Review: The Hive 12 Years Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
12 Years
Recipe
100% Malt Whisky
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This whisky, like some other Wemyss Blended Malts (The Spice King and Peat Chimney), is composed of 16 malt whiskies, with a focus on the Speyside region of Scotland. The whisky is made from refill and first-fill sherry casks.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: More waxy than actually with honey notes – I probably wouldn’t even name them as a major player, amidst everything else going on. The nose is lightly floral and candied, with a touch of smoke, earthy peaty notes, lemon, orange juice, caramel, dried apricot, light cucumber, and even a bit of saffron with some time. It develops nicely into a light, and rich nose – well integrated and balanced.

Taste: Somewhat sweet with a fresh apricot and peach fruit character with the oak pulling a bit of weight. There’s more honey on the palate than the nose, and there are a few honeydew notes drifting around. At the end, the smoke emerges and leads right to the finish. At times, it feels a touch too watered down and I think at 43% this would do better.

Finish: Starts slightly spicy and woody, with a very light nuttiness and ash as well. Candied orange peel and some malt come through pretty well also, with dried apricot and a bit of cacao emerging as well over time.

Complex and well balanced – the parts all have purpose and play very well together. A very nice lightly honeyed and fruity malt, with a nice thread of oak and smoke keeping everything interesting. Recommended.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $94.


Review: The Peat Chimney 12 Years Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (Wemyss) by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
12 Years
Recipe
100% Malt Whisky
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This whisky is a blended malt, based on 16 different malts, with a focus on Islay (and peat!) from Wemyss - a company focusing on blended malts.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: A bit buttery and lightly floral, with light ashy and medicinal smoke sitting atop everything else. Vanilla is in the mix, but the nose is a bit light overall. Lightly nutty, orange. Slightly sour as well, and continues to develop as it sits.

Taste: More smoke here, of an ashy and slightly vegetal character. There is a good butterscotch sweetness which balances out the smoke, and its mainly these two characters at play on the palate. Lightly dries out to spices and smoke.

Finish: Smoke, primarily, with a bit of vanilla, malt character, and some earthiness from the peat. There is a bit of sweetness in the finish as well, though sometimes it takes on a bit of a sweetener feel to it. It has a bit of an oily feel in the mouth, too.

Not a peat or smoke bomb, but there is smoke in this. The blending work to balance out all the elements - good but it’s a bit simple at times.

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

Value: Low, based on $78.


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

ABV
40%
Aging
8 Years
Recipe
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.


Review: Lord Elcho 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

Lord Elcho was a supporter to Bonnie Prince Charlie and was a leader in the Battle of Culloden during the Jacobite uprising in 1745 – the result of an attempt of Prince Charlie to regain the throne for his family after pretending to be the son of James Stuart, though himself the son of James II. Because of Lord Elcho’s role in the uprising, he was stripped of his title and exiled to France. The whisky is produced by Wemyss Malts, who produce a number of blended Scotch whiskies and whose founder was a descendant of Lord Elcho. The company is still family owned and occupy the Wemyss castle (legend has it that it’s haunted) in Fife where they’ve lived since the 1300s. The whisky was launched in 2012, and last year a no-age-statement Lord Elcho was also released.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Rich, with some toffee, dried fruits, and a slightly grassy element. Lightly nutty (roast cashews) as well. The dried fruits and toffee character, as well as the light vanilla and richness makes me suspect nice use of both bourbon and sherry casks.

Taste: Honey, with some heavy barley influence and earthiness. The fruit and toffee are still present, and the malt continues on quite nicely. A light spicy feel comes in on the end, and there’s a bit of a light chemical spirit-like feel to this as well in places. Moderately sweet.

Finish: Dries slightly, with some dried fruit, black tea, and malt. The flavour lingers lightly, with a bit of honey, pear, and nuttiness coming in as well, but without a whole lot of force.

In terms of blends, this is quite what I enjoy – rich, with some nice different flavours playing in (like dried fruit, toffee, and a bit of a spicy feel here), but without a huge load of flavour from all sorts of camps that I find in some blends.

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

Value: Low, based on $68.