Showing posts with label Blended Malt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blended Malt. Show all posts

Wemyss The Hive 12 Years Review

“Waxy Grapefruit”
Country: Scotland 
Brand: Wemyss The Hive
Bottler: Wemyss Malts, Edinburgh
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age:  12 Years
ABV:  40 %
Date: 24/04/2014

Colour: Golden Amber

Nose: Not extremely complicated. Please give it some time to open up. It's quite Sweet and Floral with Barley, Toast, Heather, Grass, Honey, Fruit Cake or perhaps Apple Pie with lots of Raisins. Finally I get Orange or Mandarin, Oak, light Custard, Toffee, Sherry and hints of Leather and Smoke. The Alcohol is not completely integrated.

Palate: Light and Slightly Watery Delivery. Bitter Sweet with Honey, Mandarin, Malt, Toast and Apricot Marmalade, Toffee, slightly Bitter Grapefruit Juice, Oak, Pepper and Licorice.

Finish: On the Short Side with Bitter Toasted Oak, light Honey, Wax, light Vanilla, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice and hints of Espresso and Aniseed.

Added Water does not improve the Hive.

Rating: 81.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: The Hive is part of a new range by Wemyss of Edinburgh, next to Spice King and Peat Chimney. Each represents one of the three main Scottish production areas, respectively Speyside, Highlands and Islay. The Hive is a Blend of 16 Single Malts. The heart is formed by a Speyside distillery that represents around 1/3 of the Blend. Said distillery uses a mix of Fresh and Re-Fill Ex-Sherry Casks to mature its Whisky. By the way, Wemyss is the old Gaelic word for Caves. The Whiskies for the Wemyss Blends are chosen by a Panel, chaired by the well-known whisky writer Charles MacLean. The Hive is usually sold at around 55 US Dollars. A cheaper 8 year version is also available. Wemyss did a very nice job on Packaging and Presentation!

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: I bought a miniature bottle of the Hive in the Dallas Dhu shop, just outside Forres in Morayshire. I mention this because sometimes I wonder if "special" casks are reserved for miniatures. Because I've heard some positive stories about the Hive. Which, unfortunately, I can't quite confirm. The Nose is okay although it gives away its Aromas quite reluctantly. Please give it some time in the glass. But on the Palate and in the Finish I can't find a whole lot of interesting flavours. Too much Wax and Bitter Grapefruit for my taste. If you like that, give it a try! In the meantime I look forward to try the Spice King and the Peat Chimney later this year.

Jan van den Ende                                                                 June, 2014

Nikka 12 Years Pure Malt Review

Country: Japan
Brand: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age: 12 Years 
ABV: 40 % 
Date: 16/02/2013

Colour: Golden Amber

Nose: The Nikka 12 needs some time in the glass before you start Nosing. But after a while you will be rewarded with nice and reasonably sophisticated Floral and Fruity Aromas. I find Buttered Toast and Apricot Marmalade, Caramel, Malt, Ripe Fruit like Plums, Apples and Peaches, Mahogany Wood, Vanilla, a nice Espresso note, Grass, Honey, Treacle, Lemon and Orange Zest and a generous sprinkle of Cinnamon. There's a little bit of Alcohol around. 

Palate: Quite Thin, Sweet and Watery with Sugared Tea, Toffee, Caramel, Oak, Nuts, light Vanilla, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Grass, Apples and Dried Apricots.  

Finish: Short and mainly Sweet with Sugared Tea, light Honey, Vanilla, Cereals, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and some Cocoa Powder.

With a bit of water the Nose gets a bit more Fruit and Honey. Palate and Finish gain still more Spices but otherwise become too Thin.

Rating: 80.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20  - Finish: 19  - Overall: 20

The Yoichi Distillery

General Remarks: The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd owns two Single Malt Distilleries in Japan (Yoichi and Miyagikyo) as well as Ben Nevis in Scotland. 
They also produce a lot of Blended Whisky and the 12 Years Taketsuru (named after the founder of Nikka) I am tasting today is a Blended or Vatted Malt Whisky from Spirit produced at the two above mentioned Japanese distilleries. It sells at around 70 US Dollars. There are also 17 and 21 Years Expressions in the Taketsuru Series. The best known blends are probably Nikka from the Barrel and Black Nikka, the latter mainly in Japan. Nikka was founded by Masataka Taketsuru He studied Chemistry at the University of Glasgow between 1918 and 1920 and worked and learnt as apprentice at Distilleries like Longmorn and Hazelburn. Apparently he was very gifted because later on Masataka became a Master-Blender. Nowadays the Nikka Whisky Distilling Company is part of Asahi Breweries. 

Drinking Experience Neat: The Nose is Good. The rest is Average.

Conclusion: I am disappointed with this Vatted/Blended Malt. The Nose is quite nice and has some distinct Fruity, Floral, Mahogany and Coffee Aromas. But on the Palate the Nikka 12 Years Pure Malt is Thin and Sugary Sweet with some Oak, Toffee and Spices. The Finish is similar to the Palate and quite Short. It's too expensive for what it offers and not good enough to be considered as one of my daily to-go-to Blends.

Jan van den Ende                                                       February, 2014