Tuesday 21 March 2017

Wemyss Peat Chimney & Spice King Batch Strength Reviews

Hi everyone,

Back again with another comparison review. This time it’s two blended malts from Wemyss.

These types of regional blended malts have really taken off in the last few years, triggered perhaps by the success of Big Peat and the like. Douglas Laing have since released a load more and Wemyss have followed close behind.

These two are at ‘batch strength,’ technically not cask strength but at a specific strength before they would normally bring them down to 46% I’m guessing. Recently Wemyss dropped the age statements from their blended malt range (BOOOOOOOO…), which saddens me and I think harms these two in particular.

Many, many thanks to Living Room Whisky for the generous swap!! Thanks guys!

Wemyss Spice King Batch Strength 56%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Yeasty, malty and yes, spicy. A little alcohol in the way but red apple, cherry pie!, ginger, white pepper and some singed heather.
Water: More honey and heather but the alcohol reveals this nail varnish remover note, a peaty note develops.
Taste: Soft arrival with sweetness with cherry and apple, quickly developing the spices, ginger, white and black pepper, a little chilli, cardamom, singed heather, cherry pie! (very unique note), slightly doughy esp into the finish.
Water: Softer but the spices still build, more tannic with a lot more oak and black pepper than before. A peaty smoke comes through after a minute.
Finish: Medium/Long length. A little peppery with rising dough then mouth watering red apple.
Batch 1. The cherry pie thing is pretty cool and not a note I’ve found elsewhere but it’s quite closed on the nose and a bit unbalanced on the taste.

Wemyss Peat Chimney Batch Strength 57%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Instantly similar to the Spice King Batch Strength, must be very similar whiskies in the blend. Slightly yeasty, cherry pie and red apple but with a Caol Ila sheen, empty peating room, empty peat kiln, ash and dry oak. Again, alcohol isn't sharp but it's hiding something, nail varnish remover maybe?
Water: Sweeter with much less smoke, there's a slightly earthy note that reminds me of Lagavulin but the nail varnish note is still there a little.
Taste: Soft arrival, building smoke, ash and full on peat, a lot of dry oak, some red apple, more oak comes through, quite tannic, gentle peaty Caol Ila all the way through.
Water: Less smoky, less peat but not more of anything else, actually more red apple and a lovely earthy note into the finish.
Finish: Long length. Tannins recede, leaving some spicy gingery red apple.
Batch 1. Unfortunatley the development is way out of balance without water. I would have guessed a blend of Girvan grain and Caol Ila but it's blended malt. Again the nose is too closed really and this has a nail varnish remover note I’m very sensitive to and also really don’t like. The Caol Ila saves it but it’s all a little too young in my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

Whisky Reviews #348-#349

Network Average: 74.6
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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