Tag Archive: Wemyss Malts


Wemyss Spice King 12 Year
Wemyss: Spice King 12 Year (Scottish Blended Malt: 12 Year: 40% ABV)

Visual: Deep gold.

Viscosity: Medium speed and thickness streaks.

Nose: Honey and menthol. Greenery. Vegetable samosas. Danish pastry. Water adds heather notes.

Body: Very smooth. Honey. Alcohol touched body. Oak. Turmeric. Water makes much bigger honey and less alcohol. Vegetable samosas. Curry paste. Cinnamon.

Finish: Paprika and honey. Dry oak. Alcohol drying feel. Water adds green peppers.

Conclusion: Honey and lightly spiced vegetable samosas is what is coming to mind here. Not something I expected going in, but I am getting used to being surprised these days.

Initial impressions was that this is a very bright, simple, alcohol warmed whisky with heavy emphasis on the honey. It was slightly oaked, slightly light but generally enjoyable, if not earning its “Spice King” name.

Water initially pushed up the sweetness and dimmed the alcohol, but quickly the eponymous spice came out. Here is where we find that samosas character I mentioned earlier. Kind of a mix of vegetables, especially peas, mixed with a mild curry paste character. It is a gentle, vegetable spice, that is not harsh but becomes more and more to the fore as the amount of water increases. The thickness of the spice seems to fill the slightly thin cracks that existed in the whisky before, making it overall much more balanced.

It is full of that gentle spice, now only slightly sweet and actually quite rustic feeling – relaxing to drink despite the spice. For me it does what it says on the tin – spice, delivered smooth and gentle, but it does feel a tad one dimensional. I can’t complain that it doesn’t do what it sets out to do, but I feel it could do with a bit more depth and variety for it to appeal to me.

Ok, but more inoffensive than exciting.

Background: Keeping up the run of whisky miniatures with this blended malt from Wemyss. Grabbed from Independent Spirit who get mentioned a lot around here. Not much to say, Wymyss have done pretty good in their independent bottling so far. I think there is also an eight year version of this whisky going around but haven’t tried it.

Wemyss Malts: Dalmore 1990 Tropical Spice (Scottish Single Cask Single Malt Highland Whisky: 19 Year: 59.4% ABV)

Visual: Very deep amber bronze.

Viscosity: Initial omnipresent puckering followed a procession of very slow streaks.

Nose: Raisin, turmeric, wood shavings, quite floral. Cinnamon and eraser dust. Water reveals honeycomb and sherried fruits.

Body: Smooth, very smooth. raisins, charring and chocolate Water makes raisin much more obvious and makes the alcohol much more manageable. Also brings out a touch of rum spice and terrys chocolate orange.

Finish: Bitter chocolate, dry dust and toffee. Water turns it to more malt chocolate and spiced blood oranges, though oddly the tongue numbing alcohol is still present.

Conclusion: A fantastic drink that is reliant on just the right sprinkling of water to make it find its peak.

Taken straight, this is forceful, almost sense numbing, but with powerful spice and spirit. If really finds its mark though with a teaspoon of water. This brings out all the fantastic orange, rum and spice and lets them play. Powerful, exotic and yet playful – everything is on show and oh so alluring.

A touch more water and the, yet still tasty, drink is loosing the edge of flavour, but none of the fire.

It’s a fine bottling for experimenting with, like a work of art hidden in a maze – it takes time to investigate and reach its brilliant core.

Not one for a quick dram though, its too unlikely to reach that fine point of satisfaction.

A whisky of delayed pleasure.

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