Not long ago Wemyss Malts released a Cask Strength version of their blended malts The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney, after having dropped the age statement from those expressions and boosting the ABV % ץ The three such expressions, presented as a limited edition of 6,000 bottles, and priced from £45 to £50. I’ve tasted the basic released long ago, and some are really nice daily drams, let’s see how the alcohol boost has changed them (i hope it’s only % change and having them reduced to very young blended malts..)
Nose: Sweet , with honey, flower petals, and a hint of wax, then off to sweet doughnuts (yes, it’s almost that time of the year for Sufganiot, our own version of doughnuts), and pastries, candied orange peel, sweet nectar (syrup if you may), more honey, and some spice too. quite sweet, and appealing, although not overly complex.
Palate: Big and sugary, with quite a lot of sweet malty notes, honey, sugar, vanilla, apple peel, feels quite young actually. milk chocolate filled with sultana, ripe melon, candied ginger, and some chilly too, again, there are waxy notes, and more pepper on the finish.
Finish: pepper, chocolate and caramel candy with hints of wax.
The name does fit here, it’s quite honeyed, sweet, with waxy, and fruity notes. A nice winter warmer, even though it lacks in complexity. A nice spicy mouthful, if you love your whisky young. It delivers what it is aimed at.
Nose: This is nice, there’s some lovely smoke on the nose, it’s not very pronounced but its there, and it’s nice. It’s sort of an earthy sort of nose, with leather, pepper, and some sweeter sherried dimension you discover after the smoke subsides. Hints of tobacco, Demerara sugar and ripe oranges.
Palate: Big and peaty, with pepper and a maritime touch as well (brine), it’s much more peaty than I had anticipated by the gentle smoke / peat on the nose, and that’s a nice surprise indeed. The pepper seems bigger as time passes, some ginger and licorice as well, with oak, and more salt. Quit nice.
Finish: Salt, smoke and pepper, light ash too.
Now, this is nicer, with the added dimension of smoke and spicy / salty profile.
Nose: This is the “smokiest” and peatiest of the bunch, as the name suggests : it’s quite coastal, with brine, BBQ, smoke, tarry rope , wet bandages, Brasil nuts, and creosote. It’s reeky alright , with a nice balance. Quite lovely actually, and not too “young”.
Palate: Cayenne chilly, sweet smoked barley, BBQ smoke, earthy peat, smoky citrus zest, some vanilla , and quite a lot of smoke.
Finish: Soot, dry oak , smoke.
All three are quite enjoyable with the Spice King and Peat Chimney being more complex, and better integrated , due to the addition of peat / smoke which often adds an interesting layer of flavors to many whiskies. At any rate, lovely daily drams all three of them. I feel the Alcohol boost did really work well for Wemyss this time. Good blending work.