Review: 3 x Wemyss Malts recent releases (’82 Bowmore, ’91 Bunnahabhain, ’88 Invergordon)

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(For my reviews, please read on…)

For those of you that follow Wemyss Malts you’ll know that they release various bottlings a few times a year, and the most recent summer releases include some real beauties including a single grain single cask whisky for the first time and the most valuable whisky Wemyss has ever released – a 31 year old single cask from Bowmore distillery.

Their new releases (available from all good retailers!) include:

“Lemon Cheesecake” – 1988 single cask from Invergordon, Single Grain
“Loch Indaal Catch” – 1982 single cask from Bowmore, Islay
“Oysters with Lemon Pearls” – 1991 single cask from Bunnahabhain, Islay
“Aromatic Orange Tobacco” – 1988 single cask from Glenrothes, Speyside
“Melon Vine” – 1994 single cask from Aberfeldy, Highlands
“At Anchor in a Cove” – 1991 single cask from Glen Scotia, Campbeltown

 

Wemyss Single Casks Group July 2014 lo

 

I’ve been lucky to try out a few from their recent release including the 1982 Bowmore, the 1991 Bunnahabhain and the 1988 Invergordon. I count myself as very lucky here, as all three are most definitely in my top favourite distilleries, and the Bowmore is the oldest (and most expensive!) I’ve yet to try from this distillery, lucky me! Let’s take a look…

 

lemon-cheesecake-1988-wemyss-malts-invergordon-whisky“Lemon Cheesecake”
1988 (26yo ) Invergordon – 46% ABV

Colour: Nice golden.
Nose: Slightly dusty. Lovely and light; if it’s cheesecake then it’s very lightly whipped, not heavy. With time the dust turns into icing sugar; mouthwateringly sweet.
Palate: Sweet and fairly thick, and although I didn’t particularly pick up lemon on the nose, there is definitely a citrussy peel thing going on on the palate.
Finish: There’s a refreshing end to the dram before it hits your chest and spreads warmth everywhere leaving a long lasting butteriness on your palate.
Thoughts: Anyone who follows me knows when it comes to grain whisky then Invergordon is pretty much my favourite, and this dram certainly doesn’t change my mind on that at all, it’s interesting, light and really palatable. Grain whisky is arguably less packed with flavour than it’s malty big brother, so it’s really reliant on great casks for extra taste, and this cask here has given the dram some great flavours. There’s not many drams around these days that are 25 yo+ for ~£80 so if you’ve not checked out grain whisky yet, then take a look, you won’t find this dram disappointing!
Available: Master of Malt – £81.77

 

loch-indaal-catch“Loch Indaal Catch”
1982 (31yo) Bowmore – 46% ABV

Colour: Clear, bright gold.
Nose: Hints of peat, tempered and softened by 30+ years of age leading to floral oak cask notes and a drop of saltiness.
Palate: Fairly thick and quite spicy at first but that soon settles down leaving something fruity (citrus) and kind of fizzy there, a little like Refreshers (sweets). The peat smoke has been softened so much that it’s a mere background hint alongside some nice oak notes which are really well balanced and not too strong.
Finish: On the finish you finally get a puff of smoke that whips around your palate and leads into a long and gentle chest hug.
Thoughts: Bowmores from the 80’s are sometimes known for a slightly more floral nature than in other decades, some people like it, others not so much. I can’t say this isn’t floral, it is, but it’s not too up front and adds a bit of interest of this whisky and doesn’t take anything away. The fizzyness is great fun and keeps you going back for more all night. There’s layers of flavours here that you just don’t get with younger whiskies.
Available: Hedonism Wines – £741.10

 

oysters-with-lemon-pearls-1991-wemyss-malts-bunnahabhain-whisky“Oysters with Lemon Pearls”
1991 (23yo) Bunnahabhain – 46% ABV

Colour: Lightly golden.
Nose: Very slightly earthy with lots of citrus notes going on followed by a salty ozone thing backed up by gentle old cask oak and a hint of hessian. No peat.
Palate: Amazing on the palate, it’s fairly thick and really soft and approachable, lashings of honey(comb) and lemon with just a puff of smoke from the cask char.
Finish: Sappy oak freshness leads the way followed up by sweet honeyed malt leading into a long warming chest hug. A drop of water works just fine.
Thoughts: I love Bunnahabhain, and this is yet another great single cask bottling that is really interesting to stick your feet up with any enjoy it’s mellow goodness.
Available: Master of Malt – £97.71

 

Thanks to Wemyss for the samples!

 

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