Wemyss Kiln Embers

Wemyss: Kiln Embers (Scottish Blended Malt Whisky: No age statement: 46% ABV)

Visual: Gold.

Viscosity: Very varied mix of slow thin streaks, and faster thick streaks.

Nose: Smoke. Cinder toffee. Dry lemon. Salt. Wooden ship rafters. Light plum. Water emphasises the subtle lemon notes.

Body: Smooth. Salted lemon. Salt. Smoke and ash. Drying. Plums. Malt chocolate. Water brings out lemon and adds palma violets. Beef broth and charred oak come out. Even more water adds light orange notes.

Finish: Dry. Smoke. Cinder toffee returns. Cinnamon. Beef broth. Malt chocolate. Plum notes. Ash. Salted lemon. Water brings out dried beef, light orange and light glacier cherries.

Conclusion: Thing things you can do with blended malts these days, some of ’em even legal… Anyway, for one you can call your whisky “Kiln Embers” and still expect people to buy it. Normally for anyone outside a hardcore Islay fan that would not be an enticing name. Now, with a name like that I was expecting something dry, something smoke filled and definitely something punishing. I’m about half right.

There is smoke, ash and salt – Islay style, the whisky is both dry and drying, but, it is comparatively mellow. The blending has brought out subtle notes that mellows and smoothes, matching the smoke with cinder toffee sweet notes, or soothing them with a mild lemon that cuts through the harshness.

That lemon starts out light, but water really brings the character out, making it the main base the smoke lifts up from. More waters lets previously hidden additional sweetness comes out, those dark plum notes accentuating the cinder toffee. It never hides the Islay smoke that brought you here, but it does make for a real blended smooth and satisfying character. Despite the smoothness and lack of jagged edges it still boasts just enough harsh Islay character to keep just enough of the uniqueness that single malts have and overlays it to the blended styling.

Islay made to match a sippable smooth whisky. An utter steal at the price.

Background: I will confess I noticed a reference to salt dried lemons on the box as I poured, so there is a chance of psychosomatic influence on the tasting notes. Sorry, I try my best to avoid those until after I have done my notes. The kind people at Independent Spirit poured me a sample of this while I was in the shop, and I decided to grab a bottle – so I knew I was going to be well inclined to this even before I started the notes. Drunk after blowing what looked to be a promising “The Lost” run on Binding Of Isaac. I needed to get my spirits back up. Damn that run is hard. Also I put on a bit of Iron Maiden. Also to get my spirits back up. Because Iron Maiden are awesome.