Regular readers may know I’m not a huge fan of blends or blended malts. Besides my creeping skepticism wondering how many dud casks were blended away, I’m not that into mild whisky. However, Wemyss does a pretty good job on this one. A smooth gentleman, indeed. If you’re looking for a nice, relatively available malt whisky that won’t break the bank, then you may want to try a few of these releases.
Here’s a few pictures of Charlie Maclean’s mustache photoshopped onto random things to pass the time…
Nose: Lots of subtle flavors to pull out of this one. Sharp and citrusy. Light, buttery toffee, like a box of Crunch ‘n Munch. Sweet like a freshly opened pack of Marlboro Reds. It has a little bit of the herbiness that the Spice King had. A little fresh air. Uncooked Top Ramen. A very mild maritime aroma with moss and seaweed playing very quietly in the back. Those chocolate chip cookies in the bag that you used to get with school lunches. Dried grass clippings blowing by in the summer wind.
Palate: Smooth entry with a spicy perfumed finish. I wasn’t huge on the watery start but the finish is really nice; it’s like the first guy bunted but the second hit a goddamned home-run. It’s almost too smooth before you swallow it and then you open the bread cloche and catch that first hit of delicious steam. After the first sip, it’s clear sailing and the rest of the whisky catches up. Cloves and barrel char smoke. Dates and grape juice. It almost tastes like there’s a few drops of peat in there as well, but it’s so far down I might be making myself sound like a fool.
Exactly what it claims to be: smooth and gentle.
Wemyss, pronounced “Weems” according to the bottle, is a Scotch company that sells blended malt whisky… and single cask bottlings. What an odd combination? Hmmm… I guess the obvious similarities between the independent bottler and the blender never occurred to me until now.
I’m a sucker for a sexy bottle, and these very modern looking vessels are sleekly packaged, indeed. From the appetizing names to the clean markup of the labels, the design is very inviting. Even the way they call them “vintage malts” is a subtle nod to the amount of money they must spend on marketing. Suave.
Speaking of sauve, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I have a little mustache envy now. The guy who heads their nosing panel, Charlie Maclean, has a pretty awesome ‘stache. Just the set of whiskers I would expect for someone who works for a company called Wemyss. I’m more than a little jealous. Now on to the whisky!!!
Nose: Barbecue sauce, pizza, paprika and oregano. Beachy, extremely mild and laid back. Lightly peated and slightly green. A drop of water adds lemon curd and beef jerky.
Palate: Pizza sauce, summer savory, peatier towards the end with ginger as an after thought. It’s very smooth, almost watery. I thought I exhaled once and tasted a little blackberry…
I mean, I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for being a blended malt, but this isn’t quite as spicy as I would have expected for being called The Spice King. How about The Spice Vassal? Naw, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Maybe, The Spice Duke? The Spice Baron? Meh, I’ll keep working on it…