husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wemyss Malts (Three for One Special)


 
Wemyss Malts is a boutique whisky company with ties to the Industry dating back to the turn of the 19th century.  The founder of Haig’s (John Haig) built a distillery on Wemyss land, knowing that the barley produced on the Wemyss Estates is highly coveted among many leading distillers.


Wemyss (pronounced ‘weems’) is Scottish for caves.  They offer a range of malts and blends that have been making some noise in the industry lately and certainly interesting to say the least.  From their cool names, to the quality inside the bottle, it is no wonder that Wemyss has been winning awards lately, and making a name for themselves.

Mr. MacLean has an eye (&nose) for good whisky

Another key to their success has been the fact that they are armed with a virtual legend in the industry, Charlie MacLean.  Known for his passion for Single Cask selection, he is the perfect gentleman to help them with their single cask line that is broad in range and cleverly named.  Their single casks are usually limited to about 300-600 bottles and of very high quality.  Something I enjoy especially is that they are rarely less than 43% ABV…usually up around 46%-full on cask strength.  I like that.

At a recent New Jersey Whiskey Society meeting, we decided to try some of the Wemyss blend range to start our journey.

We sampled the 8 Year Old ‘Smooth Gentleman’, the 8 Year Old ‘Peat Chimney’, and the 12 Year Old ‘Spice King’.  While favorites and scores varied, all of us agreed that this is a fine line of blends, and worth picking up a bottle or two for the collection.  We must pursue some of their Single Casks now!

Tasting Notes on Three:
 
Hello aptly named whiskies
 

8 YEAR OLD SMOOTH GENTLEMAN

Appearance:  Amber -1

Nose:  Fresh and clean, cinnamon toast crunch cereal

Palate:  A little bit of everything & definitely smooth, malt, spice, fruity

Finish:  Smooth and easy drinker

Overall:  Smooth but no chump…this is not a lightweight.  Score 83

8 YEAR OLD PEAT CHIMNEY

Appearance:  Golden Honey

Nose:  Smoke, malt, citrus

Palate:  Peat & smoke, sea salt, oily, orange peels

Finish:  Gentle & subtle

Overall:  I kind of like this one, I like my peaty drams young…Score 84

12 YEAR OLD SPICE KING

Appearance:  Amber +1

Nose:  Cinnamon sticks, spice rack, sherry, faint smoke

Palate:  Warming, nutmeg, peppery, baked apples with cinnamon sugar crust

Finish:  Still warming and rich, drying, medium to long

Overall:  This one is pretty spicy indeed!  Score 85

Conclusion:

All in all, I have to say that I love what Wemyss is doing.  I have had the luxury of trying a couple of their Single Casks, and they have been quite impressive.  Overall, I continue to preach the value of quality blends like Compass Box and Wemyss...for those that turn their noses up to all blends are missing out on some outstanding whisky.

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