Steve at The Whisky Wire has been busy recently organising tweet tastings and I've managed to get myself invited to another one, this time from independent blenders and bottlers Wemyss.
Wemyss are based across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh at the family seat (a castle) and have had connections to the whisky industry since the 1800s. They have a core range of blended malts plus single cask releases representing different regions of the country.
I can't claim to have tried any of their wares before;so I'm going into this evening blind apart from the names and age statements on some of the bottles. More details after the obligatory group shot...
We started the evening with spice king, which had sweet butterscotch and Murray mints on the nose, with green cardamom and pipe smoke in behind. Its very light in body with an (Ardmore?) smokiness up front followed by a great whack of sweetness and boozy waft and a peppery elderflower finish.
Adding a touch of water ruined it for me, with pear skins, bakewell tart and burnt paper taking over. Trust the experts on this one, they get it right before the bottle gets to you!
Next came ginger spice, a whisky distilled in 1988 in Glenrothes also at 46% ABV. Again buttery esters and alcohol up front in the nose but fruity green apple too. Its very hot (booze forward) with woody vanilla, apple skins whilst the booze numbs the tongue. A dash of water brings out some sandalwood, toffee covered peaches and white grape skins. Finishes fairly grainy.
Peat Chimney an Islay accentuated blend gives a vanilla punch at first, reminding me of Icelandic yoghurt skyr (a fairly obtuse reference i admit). Rich peaty smoke notes (but not overly medicinal) long heavier fractions legs and a little buttered toast. The smoke is up front in the mouth, a beach-side BBQ, chocolate, wood burning stoves and a grapefruit mojito. Sweet demarara sugar and caramelised meats in the finish.
Finally came Chocolate Honeycomb a 2001 distilled (12 y/o) whisky from Bunnahabin. Crème caramel with a side of Pledge furniture polish. Honey covered plasticine. Its sweet and fiery with a lengthy umami finish. Even with some water its very sweet, a whisky for the after dinner cheeseboard if ever there was one. Washed rind cheese would work well, warm orange peel and cinnamon notes - think orange cocktail bitters develops on the nose. Certainly one that benefits the dilution.
Peat Chimney was my favourite for the night, perfectly balanced peatiness vs drinkability and at a very reasonable price, I'd look to buy a bottle once my current stock has been worked down a bit.
You can follow the thoughts of everyone else on the night by reading through the #WemyssTT2 tag on twitter. Fellow bloggers were also present in force, here's a few of their reviews. Cheers again to Steve for organising the evening and Wemyss for the chance to try some fantastic whiskys for free. Follow Steve on Twitter for a chance to take part in future tastings.
My third and final tweet tasting (for the time being!) is a blind selection of American whiskies this Wednesday courtesy of Arkwrights. So if you're interested in the delights of corn and/or rye, tune in from 7pm by following the hashtag #LiquidAmericana and Steve's @TweetTastings account on the night.