Wemyss Malts – imbibing some blended malts

Wemyss Blended Malts

As promised, the second instalment of Wemyss Malt whiskies includes a tasting of ‘The Hive’, which scored a whopping ninety three points in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible, as well as ‘Spice King’ and ‘Peat Chimney’. Each of these blended malts is available at three different ages; 5yo, 8yo and 12yo and tonight I have the eldest of these three generations to taste, the grandparents if you will, the 12yo bottlings. After enjoying four of their single casks the other night (you can read my thoughts here) I’m very much looking forward to popping open these blended malts from Wemyss Malts tonight. ‘The Hive’ is primarily Speyside based whereas ‘Spice King’ is mainly Island influenced. ‘Peat Chimney’ is, somewhat unsurprisingly, a blend of Islay malts – 16yo and 12yo malts to be precise. Here goes!

A selection of blended malts from Wemyss Malts

The Hive
12yo Blended Malt
40% ABV
£34.95 here

Nose: Sweet honey, Danish pastries and gingerbread biscuits. Something a little lighter on top like candy sticks and buttered popcorn. Underneath there’s some rich treacle and sponge cake. Rum truffles flit in and out.

Palate: Very smooth and creamy. So easy to drink. Vanilla and butterscotch are the primary flavours but a chewy malty note gives this dram good depth. Layers of thick honey penetrate through at every level.

Finish: A punch of spice with some buttered malt loaf linger for a while then gradually melt away.

Spice King
12yo Blended Malt
40% ABV
£34.99 here

Nose: Instant memories of bonfires on the beach. Salty and warmingly smoky. A citrusy zing keeps things fresh and lively. A little nutty with a gentle spice ensures a lovely richness.

Palate: Unbelievably smooth, possibly even more easy drinking than ‘The Hive’! A little creamy spiciness appears which soon gives way to sweet charcoal and faint cigar smoke. But smooth. So very smooth.

Finish: Dates and chocolate tiffin flirt with my senses before giving way to long lingering smoke. I’m not quite sure when it’s all gone. Delightful.

Peat Chimney
12yo Blended Malt
40% ABV
£34.99 here

Nose: My nose is a couple of inches from the glass and this one’s already pushing my buttons. Richly smoky but not totally dominating. A honey sweetness, peaches in syrup, pears, pine wood and linseed oil manage to cut through. Superb.

Palate: A burst of cinnamon and some zingy citrus to begin, then a brief tingle of fiery spice (in a nice way). Rich earthiness and lots of dry peat give this dram some balls.

Finish: Very long. Peat smoke, tobacco leaves and dark chocolate. Really covers the palate this one. Massive.

Overall: This was almost like my journey through whisky over the past decade condensed into a three dram tasting. A nice light introduction to whisky with ‘The Hive’. Totally inoffensive and would appeal to most palates. Then moving onto a whisky which I would crack open with friends after a dinner party; ‘Spice King’ is a bottle which would probably be polished off as it made its way round the dinner table. Finally, I finished on one for the mature, experienced palate. ‘Peat Chimney’ is a great example of, and I suppose a great introduction to, Islay-style whisky – huge peat influence but delicate enough to accommodate lighter flavours. Take your pick boys and girls, there’s something for everyone here!


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