A new season with Wemyss Malts

New Season

We are now into March and, hopefully, out of winter’s grasp. A new season full of flowers in bloom, trees regaining their leaves and warm spring evenings lie before us. Hmmm… try telling that to the three inches of snow in the garden outside. However, a new calendar season heralds some new releases from Wemyss Malts. If you aren’t acquainted with them yet you can get the full low down on what they’re all about here, with previous reviews of their tasty liquid here, here and here. Okay, up to speed? Good. Here goes with the latest installment.

Summer Orchard
Linkwood 2000/2012
762 bottles
46% ABV

Nose: Apple strudel, icing sugar, damp grass and vanilla cheesecake. Quite youthful with the odd spirity note coming through.

Palate: Over-ripe bananas, pears and peaches to begin with before becoming more floral and slightly perfumed.

Finish: Quite short with a confectionary sweetness, like vanilla creams.

Overall: Quite a straight forward dram and one which perhaps tastes a bit younger than its twelve years. After I left it for a few minutes a slight sulphur note developed, but only very slight. Not my favourite bottling from Wemyss by any means but ‘flightly’ dram for those who have a sweet tooth.

Fruit Bonbons
Glen Garioch 1989/2012
325 bottles
46% ABV

Nose: Raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberry laces give an instants rich, sweet hit. A touch of mint leaves and gooseberries. Then it settles with some Danish pastries and peaches in syrup with cream.

Palate: Dark forest fruits with lime ice cream. There’s a real zestiness there. Then some oak comes through followed swiftly by some spicy sultana cake, white pepper and nutmeg.

Finish: Lingering rich fruits balanced by some bitter oak. Maybe even a slight chocolate note emerges towards the end.

Overall: Now we’re talking! This is really quite complex with a mix of sweet fruits and a touch of citrus hitting me first before the oak and the spices appear. Very tasty indeed.

Billowing Embers
Bunnahabhain 1997/2012
331 bottles
46% ABV

Nose: Chocolate covered brazil nuts and hazelnut pralines. Then I get some cereal notes and a little bit of orange oil before nosing new car tyres and bonfire smoke.

Palate: Soft, sweet woodsmoke, lemon zest and oily smoked fish. Then a puff of soot, BBQ embers and a touch of fat from a roasting tin. Very full mouthfeel!

Finish: Sweet, gentle smoke hangs around for a good while, like the aftertaste of a good cigar.

Overall: A really good example of a slightly-smokier-than-your-average Bunnahabhain. This would go pretty well with grilled fish or a cheeseboard, it’s a dram which is really up my street.

There you have it folks, three very different single cask offerings from Wemyss Malts to tickle your fancy. The Linkwood probably isn’t for me but the Glen Garioch definitely is, it’s a very well rounded dram with good complexity. The Bunnahabhain would sit very well as a night cap dram, I imagine, and would certainly help to keep away the early spring chills!




  1. Very nice mates. quite good stuff from Wemyss.They do know how to pick them casks ;) but when o when will we see it in Cask Strength as nature intended?

  2. Some really nice casks, indeed. Just mentioning apple strudel makes me think of spring and the joys of a good drink. Wemys Malts, you truly know what you are talking about!
    And over-ripe bananas? Wow, can’t quite get that one with my moonshine still, no matter how hard I try.

  3. Gal – yip some pretty good liquid again from Wemyss Malts. It’ll be no surprise to learn than three of the four casks from this release are now sold out!

    Jason – Haha, if there was ever an excuse to put the ‘practice makes perfect’ proverb into action then this is it!

  4. Haha, yes, indeed, need to put to be better use my copper whiskey still by practicing a lot ’till I get every flavor I desire.

  5. Tiger- excellent article as always

    Gal- it is interesting that they, and many other bottlers take spirit down to 46% abv. I wonder if any customer feedback has suggested that they should take it down from cask strength to 46?

    Jason- have you tried any interesting experiments in your stills? By the way, they look brilliant!

  6. Well, Chris, I always like to try various combinations, as I am a fan of discovering the true potential of my whiskey still. Plus, I always appreciate a good flavor ;)
    My latest experiment was a bit of “throw in all that you got”. You can check my photo to see what I mean (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=332325806887779&set=a.216481968472164.47874.169772663143095&type=1&theater).
    I initially wanted to start with one or two flavors (mainly the Malibu one and some Teachers) but I ended up throwing more in the pot :) I have to say I am happy with the result, as the flavor was, indeed, special. Now I am thinking about what to use next. Any suggestions? ;)

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