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Tasting Wemyss Malts: The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Wemyss

One of the first things that attracted my focus over Wemyss malts were their awesome names, whiskies like the Hive, Peat Chimney or the extravagant-named single malts can’t be bad. So in one of my whisky raids on The Whisky Exchange I found several miniatures of 8 and 12 years old Wemyss blended malts.

wemyss-blended-malts-hive-spice-king-peat-chimney

There it was, my own chance at last to put my hands and palate over these whiskies. I was even more excited after reading Gal’s posts on Whisky Israel about them.

I bought miniatures of The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney for both 8 years old and 12 years old bottles.

As you can read on Wemyss website,
Up to sixteen different single malt whiskies are expertly blended together before introducing the “signature” malts to create three distinct taste profiles under Charles Maclean’s guidance: ‘Spicy’ (Spice King), ‘Peaty’ (Peat Chimney) and ‘Honeyed” (The Hive).

For the Spice King, our signature malt is from the Highlands, to produce a whisky with rich, full and spicy top notes. For The Hive, we use a signature malt from Speyside, giving vanilla and honeyed top notes and Peat Chimney uses an Islay signature to give top notes of sweet smoke, iodine and peat.

All are bottled at 40% and the range has both eight and twelve year old age expressions. Where possible, the different whiskies are ‘married’ together for a period of months, allowing the fullest integration of the different malts, prior to bottling.

I think it is a fine thing if you have a look to what Charles Maclean has to say about these six blended malts on this short video.

Ok, still there? Before tasting these six fantastic drams I like to sort them to ease the task. So the order I think most fit the samples before me was to taste first The Hive, then Spice King and finally Peat Chimney.

wemyss-blended-malts-hive-spice-king-peat-chimney-close-up

Wemyss Malts The Hive

Using a single malt whisky from the Speyside as a base, Wemyss have tried to create a blended malt that focus on the honey and vanilla notes.

The Hive 8 years old

“Very sweet nose with a taste with traces of tobacco leaves. A most interesting whisky”

89
Wemyss The Hive 8 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
A Speyside oriented 8 year old blended malt whisky from Wemyss, The Hive is made with a good chunk of sherry matured whisky to give a fruity and spicy dram.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, vanilla, citrus, floral, spices.

Palate (89): smooth, oily. honey, spices, citrus, wood, tobacco.

Finish (88): average. honey, spices, floral, tobacco.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Wemyss The Hive 8 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky with 89 points over 100.

The Hive 12 years old

“More spices than the 8yo and less tobacco leaves in this one. Both are in a very similar score range. I would go the 8yo instead”

89
The Hive 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, toffee, spices, citrus, vanilla. Slightly older than the 8yo with more toffee and spices notes.

Palate (88): smooth, oily. honey, citrus, wood, vanilla, spices, pepper.

Finish (89): average. honey, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Hive 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts) with 89 points over 100.

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Wemyss Malts Spice King

For Spice Kind bottles, the key component is a single malt whisky from the Highlands to show their spiciness.

Spice King 8 years old

“If only had they bottled this whisky at 46%... not bad, not bad anyway”

90
Spice King 8 Year Old (Wemyss Malts)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, vanilla, pepper, spices. A very nice whisky

Palate (89): smooth, oily. honey, wood, spices, vanilla, citrus, floral.

Finish (89): average. honey, spices, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Spice King 8 Year Old (Wemyss Malts) with 90 points over 100.

Spice King 12 years old

“Both this and the 8 years old are great, with fantastic noses. In this case I prefer this Spice King 12 years old over the 8yo. Superb whisky”

90
Spice King 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, toffee, vanilla, spices, pepper. Very nice nose.

Palate (90): smooth, oily. honey, spices, citrus, wood, pepper.

Finish (90): average. honey, spices, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Spice King 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts) with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Wemyss Malts Peat Chimney

And finally as it was hard to be other way, Wemyss has used a chosen Islay single malt as a base for their Peat Chimney bottles.

Peat Chimney 8 years old

“I barely get peat on this one while nosing and when I taste this whisky it doesn't really remind me of Islay. Interesting but it could be better”

89
Wemyss Peat Chimney 8 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
An Islay heavy blended malt from the folks at Wemyss, aged for a minimum of 8 years and full of tar and peaty smoke.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (89): average. a bit peat, honey, citrus, spices. If you say this is a peat chimney I am none to say you are wrong but... really really soft one.

Palate (89): smooth, oily. peat, honey, citrus, floral, spices, earth. Peat here tastes more like ashes than like real peat.

Finish (88): longer than average. peat, honey, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Wemyss Peat Chimney 8 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky with 89 points over 100.

Peat Chimney 12 years old

“That's better! Slightly more like an Islay-nder than the 8 years old bottle. Quite interesting mix of peat and spices.”

90
Peat Chimney 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts)

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, honey, citrus, vanilla, spices.

Palate (89): smooth, oily. peat, citrus, honey, spices, pepper, coffee.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, honey, spices, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Peat Chimney 12 Year Old (Wemyss Malts) with 90 points over 100.

Miguel says…

Overall the Wemyss malts are very consistent and all of them near the excellent 90s score. My favorites has been the 12 years old bottles of the series although I would buy the Hive 8 years old instead of the other.

Quite an interesting tasting session and really looking forward to have the chance of tasting more drams from this fantastic family whisky makers.



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