Wemyss Whisky

Today, I want to write about two whiskies that I tried a little while back from Wemyss Malts. They are part of their range of blended whiskies, which they’ve named to represent the predominant flavours in each: Spice King, Peat Chimney, and The Hive; the idea behind such names is that the customer knows what they’re getting, thus making the bottles that little bit more accessible. I both like and admire this “straight-talking” approach.

Behind those straight-forward names (and those rather attractive labels), however, the flavours are anything but simple or boring. The casks of whiskies used in each blend are hand-picked, ensuring both that each contributory spirit adds something to each of the blend’s profiles, and that it complements the particular character in question. Here are my thoughts on the 8 Year Old “Spicy” and “Peaty” whiskies.


Spice King 8 Years Old (40%ABV)
Nose: Dark spice and fruit notes, reminiscent of Pedro Ximenez sherry and raisins, trailing off towards a sweet, heavy smokiness that’s infused with dark brown sugar.
Taste: A surprisingly savoury start – all the more so, given the rich sweetness of the nose – is followed by unreserved, genuine wood notes that are accompanied by a glowing warmth of the kind that you’d associate with warm spice; I was also reminded of the comforting warmth of good mulled wine. The finish is slightly sweeter and more like the nose, being predominantly of raisin, with just a little, sweet cinnamon and orange.


Peat Chimney 8 Years Old (40%ABV)
Nose: Light, soft, organic peatiness, along with notes of straw and sweet, sappy syrup. This nose is sweet and earthy, rather than charred!
Taste: Wow!* Dry initially, followed by a flash of sweetness that’s backed up by organic peatiness. This slowly develops, gaining the warmth of chili and a complex, rapidly changing array of organic flavours, including apple and rolled oats. The sweet peatiness returns on the finish.

In Conclusion
I think both of these are wonderful whiskies, each isolating and presenting a well-known character of whisky, and doing it with such complexity and balance (almost “graceful”, if a whisky could be called that) that I was left both impressed and sorry that my miniature bottles were, very quickly, empty. Although it was a close contest, I think I narrowly preferred the comforting, warm Spice King.

– Mrs. B.

* The actual first word in my tasting notes.

This entry was posted in Vintage Cocktails and tagged by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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