Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wemyss Malts Tweet Tasting 2

Whisky Discovery

After the great success of the first WemyssTT last November we were really pleased to get invited to join the second event that coincided with their launch of six new single cask releases. 

When the samples arrived, two of the whiskies received came from their core blended malts range, both 12 Year Old, and two were from the new single cask release. Realising that I already had a set of these four drams that had been sent to me previously I decided to send a set across to Canadian Whisky blogger @whiskylassie so Johanne could make a surprise guest appearance.

Whisky Discovery
The line up for the evenings Tweet Tasting
I'm sure you know how Tweet Tastings work by now, you can find links to all of the Tweet Tastings we have taken part in on our Tweet Tasting page here:

Whisky Discovery #460

Wemyss Malts Spice King 12 Year Old (40% abv)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £35.00 70cl
Whisky Discovery
A blended malt made with sixteen different single malt whiskies, all at least 12 years old, and mainly from the Highlands. Wemyss meticulously hand selects each individual cask, under the expert eye of Charles MacLean who chairs their Nosing Panel

So What Did We think?
Dave said: This certainly kicks off with a strong malty note then followed by the expected spices; Pepper, Ginger, and a touch of Cinnamon too. Creamy vanilla notes start to appear as the ginger builds. I seemed to be finding a light peat reek too (which I really enjoyed) after leaving the glass covered for a while. This disappears quickly when uncovered. Fruity notes start to evolve later. A very interesting nose and much smokier than I was expecting.

On the palate it's soft and malty initially, spices start to build over the wispy smoke, pepper and ginger and as the spices fade a bitter chocolate note appeared that stayed to the finish along with a touch of licorice. and the gentle peat smoke remains right to the very end 

Kat said: Really delicious aromas of sandalwood, cinnamon, nutmeg and all different types of whole peppers! Creamier vanilla notes followed along with some fruit and nuts; almond & apricot flan and some orange notes, not fresh, more of cooked stewed oranges with a light sugar syrup or a touch of honey. After a little while I could pick up some fennel.

On the palate bitter dark chocolate notes & stewed organise on the first taste. A little bit of a dry mouth feel, and then a bit like the taste of really flat Coke, or flat dandelion & burdock, weird but nice, sort of medicinal. It is however, so smooth. It went on to develope some floral notes; jasmine/orange blossoms and some light smoke/peat. More spices on the finish, reminding me of black cardamoms! 

So what did the others think? 
@KirstyPryde1: Nose: fresh strong notes of pepper, cumin and cardamom moving on to green apples and vanilla and earthy undertones 
@mattveira: Nose: Pepper, cinnamon, quite malty but nice sweet fruitiness (especially orange and coconut). Spicy woodiness 
@chrismiles303: Hits with prickly smoke from burning paper, and new leather initially 
@whiskyrepublic: On the nose - honey, oak, a slight & pleasant acetone sweetness with hints of ginger. 
@AliceLascelles: more mature spice gets unexpectedly more youthful and apply, even fresh
@Whiskylassie: On the palate, quite creamy. Very sweet, tangy vanilla custard. Quite tasty. A bit of burn/dryness on the finish. 
@TheWhiskyWire: A feisty frolicking infusion of ripe stoned fruits, winter spice and a touch of Brasso 
@KirstyChant: I initially got pears and nutmeg. Going back I'm getting sweeter honey and orange with pepper.

Whisky Discovery #461

The Glenrothes 'Ginger Spice' 1988 (46% abv)
Single Cask Malt Whisky
Circa £115.00 70clWhisky Discovery
Established by the burn of Rothes in Speyside in 1879, The Glenrothes Distillery has been producing its characteristic Speyside single Malt for over 130 years. This Wemyss bottling comes from a single Sherry Butt yielding 660 bottles at 46% abv

So What Did We think?
Dave said: This had a more fresh ginger note to the nose as opposed to the ginger nuts of Spice King. There's an orange juice note trying to eek it's way out out along with some sawn hardwood, stewed apples and cloves. Again the palate is soft initially, spice building but more ginger powder this time whereas the nose was fresh. There was also an air of Brandy Snaps here

Kat said: Initially I was getting ethanol & sweet wet rotting compost heap (in a good way!) Under-ripe melons. There was more earthy tones of hot mulch and ginger powder, flan crust on its own without any filling. On the palate this came across asa  less sweet Irn Brew. Fruit with grapefruit and cantaloupe melon and developed into mulled apple juice like but cold and refreshing.

So what did the others think?
@SajyBaby: Nose floral with a little chalk dust and a orange ginger tickle then opens up 2 crushed buttercups in the rain
@LRWhisky: Getting a real damp earthiness to this - sort of like damp grass in a thunderstorm
@whiskyrepublic: Trying to narrow down the fruit notes. A mango & pineapple fusion - a mangapple or pineango if you will
@TheWhiskyWire: Picking up some initial grass, ginger & woodspice infused honey on the palate.
@AliceLascelles: Apple juice, apple turnover, warm pastry and clove/ginger - a whole lotta apple
@Whiskylassie: Lots of honey on the front of the palate, ginger snap biscuits hot out of the oven!
@KirstyPryde1: The ginger is a lot less than I expected, picking up burnt sugar, creamy, creme brulee, orange and sultanas
@HMcnee: More ginger, orange zest, citrus, sweet, honey this tastes fantastic

Whisky Discovery #462

Wemyss Malts Peat Chimney 12 Year Old (40% abv)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £36.00 70cl
Whisky Discovery
A blended malt, all at least 12 years old, that has a firm emphasis on Islay whiskies giving top notes of sweet smoke, iodine and peat.

So What Did We Think?
Dave Said: On the nose this has sweet gentle medicinal notes, charcoal right at the back, a little coal tar, some germoline and menthol and bringing a coastal theme to this, drifwood. It has Laphroaig (my first love) written all over it for me. The palate has a glorious gentle smoky sweetness about it, with a touch of white pepper, a little earthy and as some licorice, while the finish is dry and ashy but with a sherbet like feel too

Kat said: Seashore notes, reminds me of walking along the beach; Seafoam, seaweed, wet sand. Ash follows with some leather/rawhide notes coming through. Surprisingly sweet and not as smoky as I was expecting. The chewiness reminding me of BBQ ribs with a dry sugar rub, or BBQ fruit; pineapples w/brown sugar. Sticky toffee notes follow, very smooth like the toffee juice you get in creme caramel.

So what did the others think?
@rodbodtoo: Earthy, peat, rather than smoke from a bonfire. Under that, there's savoury salty notes
@LRWhisky: Scallops and sea food cooked on a BBQ at Port Ellen
@mattveira: Slight medicinal menthol note. Even get some smokey BBQ notes. Definitely reminds me of a certain Islay distillery
@TheWhiskyWire: Smoke infused Millionaire' shortbread on the palate.
@dvdbloke: Peat Chimney Palate - pepper spice, then lighter honied notes again. all the while peat smoke stays the whole development.
@cenbons: Not as peaty as I would have imagined (more on the finish though), chilli and sweet citrus
@KingsbarnWhisky: Oh now I can taste the mellow peat & smoke on the palate, nice and silky, woody & spicy
@Whiskylassie: Once I work my way through the ash, there's a bit of sticky toffee pudding there. Quite nice to find actually.
@BeersIveKnown: Plenty of smoke up front, woody chocolate and cooling menthol grapefruit
@StewartCraigon: Salty seaweed sandwich, with a side order of wet soot

Whisky Discovery #463

Bunnahabhain 'Chocolate Honeycomb' 2001 (46% abv)
Islay Single Cask Malt Whisky
Circa £59.00 70cl
Whisky Discovery
Deriving from the Gaelic for ‘mouth of the river’, Bunnahabhain was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and brothers James and William Greenless. This 2001 vintage was matured in a Puncheon and yielded 812 bottles at 46% abv

So What Did We think?
Dave said: Chocolate Honeycomb? This just screamed 'Crunchie' to me! Wemyss have great fun naming their single casks and get this right everything, often basing the naming on the first nosing but occasionally picking out something from the palate. Malty chocolate  started to developed when aired along with some fresh ginger and white pepper.

The palate opens with a salty sweetness to this at first, runny honey which suddenly turns quite fiery for a short burst  of fresh ginger before settling back and seemly thickening at the same time, coating the mouth. As the ginger fades hot white pepper flashes before leaving a malty warming feeling and slightly salty tang at the very end.

Kat said: Blackened bananas overly ripe, black pepper and peppery extra virgin olive oil. Chocolate and honeycomb follow. There's an oily silky quality to this, with melted dark chocolate & butter mix, simply delicious!

So what did the others think?
@TheWhiskyWire Thank Crunchie it's Friday or should I say "Thank Wemyss it's Wednesday"
@Smokiechops: Intensely sweet milk chocolate & honey. I get a slight nuttiness too 
@chrismiles303 In the mouth: Salted caramel chocolate! An initial salt then a big creamy caramel kick with some bitter chocolate to finish
@Whiskylassie A lot oilier on the palate than I anticipated? Quite smooth though. Very tasty drams indeed! I'm converted!
@dvdbloke Finish. Very creamy finish, drying with honied wood spices and a little dusting of cocoa.

And finally....
Bunnahabhain is quickly becoming a favourite distillery and 'Chocolate Honecomb' aka Crunchie only reaffirms my affection for it. The Peat Chimney was everything I was hoping it would be  and I definitely want a bottle!

Yet another great experience and another highlight of our whisky journey, with four new discoveries for us, Tweet Tastings really are a great way to taste whisky.

A massive THANK YOU to Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and to all the team at @WemyssMalts and of course the tweet tasters who were:

@TheWhiskyWire @WemyssMalts @WemyssJacque @WemyssGinny @KingsbarnWhisky @KirstyChant @AliceLascelles @WhiskyMavericks @rodbodtoo @HMCnee @GeorgeHHutton @SajyBaby @LRWhisky @WhiskyDiscovery @WhiskyRepublic @KirstyPryde1 @WhiskyDiscovKat @theWhiskyReview @dramstats @SmokieChops @MattViera @dvdbloke @chrismiles303 @beersiveknown @cenbons and special guest appearance @Whiskylassie

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