Showing posts with label Wemyss Malts Sea Smoke 1984. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wemyss Malts Sea Smoke 1984. Show all posts

Wemyss Malts Barbeque Sauce 1990 (18 Years) Review - Wemyss Malts Sea Smoke 1984 (24 Years) Review


“Wemyss Malts Special” 

Introduction:

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. I usually buy these in Holland and sometimes in Germany or the UK. Sometimes I receive samples from friends or readers or independent bottlers. In only two cases I received a few samples directly from distilleries. When planning my reviews for the next months I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as other Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon producing regions all over the world with special attention to the USA, Ireland and Japan. And last but not least the blends. At the request of many readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with an independent bottler like today or with specific countries, distilleries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't go into too much details of distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In today's special I will review two Single Malts released by Wemyss Malts UK, respectively distilled at Mortlach (Speyside) and Caol Ila (Islay). Enjoy!
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Whisky Review # 761

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Wemyss Malts Barbeque Sauce 1990
Tube sold by: Cigars and Spirits
Distilled at: Mortlach
Type: Single Malt (Single Cask?) Whisky - Bottled August 2008 - 576 Bottles
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 55% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Cask? (See Colour!)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80 (August 2018) - Discontinued - Hard to Find
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‘ It's okay but no more than that. It isnt' worth US$ 80!

Colour:

Copper (Natural Colour). Very dark colour for the Natural Colour/Bourbon Single Cask combination. I have no official explanation for this. Is it a Single Cask? It's very strange that no cask number is mentioned. One Bourbon cask would give around 200 bottles after 18 years. The total of 576 bottles suggests a larger cask or more than 1 cask (Probably three). Is European Oak involved somehow? Was/Were the cask(s) heavily Charred? If anybody knows more please leave a comment in the Comments sector!

Nose:

Mostly Sweet and quite Fatty. A few strange Notes include Compost Heap, Paint Thinner, Driftwood and Metal. The intensity of these off-notes diminishes over time so make sure to give this Mortlach sufficient time in the glass. The Alcohol is noticeable. There are lots of Aroma Accents to be discovered but it's a bit of a mixed bag and I miss Balance and Direction. I would not have recognised this as a Mortlach in a Blind tasting.  

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Dough, Biscuits, Apricot Filled Puff Pastry, Old Book Shelves, Roasted Coffee Beans, Compost Heap (including overripe Fruit like Apples and Pears & wasted Vegetables), Mint, Candyfloss and Raw Bacon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Caramel, Sugared Almonds, Heather-Honey, Dusty Track, Bitter Orange, Cinnamon, Driftwood, Cigar Box, Paint Thinner/Varnish, Bounty Candy Bars, Slightly Sour White Grapes and Leather.


Palate:

Sweet, quite Dry and slightly Hot with developing Bitter and Sour notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Sour Yellow Plums, Pear, Milk Chocolate, Wet Rocks, Lemon, Pepper, Cinnamon and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Toffee, Grapefruit, Apple, Grappa, Sour Berries, Heather-Honey, Stewed Rhubarb, Dusty Track, Charred Oak, Bitter Orange and Nutmeg.

Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Hot. Sugary Sweet at first but with increasing Bitter - and Sour notes towards the Medium-Dry/Dry end. A Metallic off-note stays with you for a minute or so. I also find Toasted Cereals, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Charred Oak, Bitter Orange & Grapefruit, Unripe Berries, Lemon, Grappa, Milk Chocolate, Pear,  Wet Rocks, Dusty Track, Pepper, Ginger and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that helps relaxing this Malt a little bit. The overall Aroma/Flavour profile does not change a whole lot but it's easier to enjoy this way. In this case I therefore recommend a few drops of Water.

Rating: 80.5

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

Drinking Experience:

Okay but confusing and not really Satisfying.

Conclusion:

The Wemyss Family has been involved in the Single Malt business ever since the turn of the 19th century when John Haig built his first distillery on Wemyss land.
Their range of Single Cask Whiskies was conceived with the aim of making them more accessible and understandable. That's why the Wemyss Malts are named after the Aromas and Flavours rather than simply mentioning the Distillery name. A Wemyss tasting panel, lead by Isabella Wemyss and Charlie MacLean have the pleasant task of identifying the casks that will be used for the Blended Malt - or Single Cask range.

This Tasting Session was more like a Wrestling Match. At times I would find an interesting Aroma or Flavour but a few moments later I was punched in the face by some weird off-note. I could have wrestled for hours without the match being declared in favour of one of the extremes. It's a mixed bag of everything and I can't find any Balance and/or Direction. In general I am a fan of the Mortlach distillery but in this specific case I can't relate at all to the malt. I already wrote above that I wouldn't have recognised this Malt as a Mortlach in a Blind Tasting session. The best way to describe my feelings towards this Wemyss expression is that I'm confused. I'm confused about the Colour, the cask or casks, Aromas and Flavours. It's been a while since I encountered such an Unbalanced Malt. Do I recommend it? It's hard to say although luckily for me it will be hard to find as it has been discontinued. I don't think it's worth US$ 80. That's for sure. The rest I'm not very sure about ๐Ÿ˜ต. 

Let's see if the Caol Ila is an easier animal!

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Whisky Review # 762

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Wemyss Malts Sea Smoke 1984
Tube sold by: Cigars and Spirits
Distilled at: Caol Ila
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Bottled August 2008 - 248 Bottles
Age: 24 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 55% - At or Around Cask Strength
Maturation: Bourbon Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 250-275 (August 2018)- Discontinued - Hard to Find
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ What a great Single Malt. Safe buy if you can find it!

Colour:

Golden (Natural Colour).

Nose:

Lovely Mature Islay. The Smoke and Peat are there of course but after 24 years they don't control the procedures anymore but act as a solid base for the other Aromas. Quite a few Medicinal and Farmyard notes. On the Nose this Caol Ila is mainly sweet but a few Sour Aromas develop along the way. Quite nice and Well Balanced.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Toast, Biscuits, Vanilla, a mixture of Clay, Straw and Cow Manure, Iodine, Band-Aid, Brine, Soot, Dirty Earth, Fish and Shellfish on the BBQ, Smoked Bacon, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Leather, Sour Apples, Lemon, Blackcurrants, Herbal Tea, Mint, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Salted Butter, Toffee, Tobacco, Rubber, Toasted Almonds, Dusty Track, Grass, Cloves, Milk Chocolate, Tinned Pineapple and Grapefruit.


Palate:

Well Matured Islay Single Malts are among my favourite Whiskies and this is no exception. Very nice interplay between Cask and Spirit. Good ABV. On the Palate this Caol Ila is Bitter-Sweet, Herbal and Fruity. A few nice Sour notes as well for Balance. Good stuff!

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Grass/Straw, Smoked Fish and Shellfish, Bacon, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Blackcurrants, Sour Apples, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Pepper, Mint, Licorice and Aniseed.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grapefruit, Lemon, Leather, Tobacco, Toasted Almonds, Milk Chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Espresso.

Finish:

Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet, Ashy, Oily, Herbal and Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Cereals, Vanilla, Toffee/Caramel, Blackcurrants, Green Apples, Lemon, Grapefruit, Smoked Fish and Shellfish, Bacon, Charred Oak, Ashes, Soot, Iodine, Dirty Earth, Wet Rocks, Salted Butter, Leather, Tobacco, Herbal Tea, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Menthol, Aniseed, Licorice, Chocolate and Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and the Caol Ila becomes more Fruitier. Not bad as well but less intense. This a matter of personal taste. I prefer it neat but you can certainly add a little Water to this Single Malt.

Rating: 89

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22.5 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience:

Very Nice!

Conclusion:

What a come back by Wemyss. What a difference with the Mortlach. This Caol Ila has everything I like in a mature Islay Single Malt. It has depth, it has balance and a very nice interplay between Cask and Spirit. Great Aromas and Flavours and a perfect ABV. There's nothing to complain here. This goes straight into my All Time Top 15. It will be very difficult to find a bottle of this Caol Ila and if you do, you will find it very expensive. But it's worth the effort and the money! If you could see my face right now you would find me smiling from ear to ear. Lovely Whisky!

Jan van den Ende                                                                  August 13, 2018