Review: Three Wemyss Malts Revewied (’01 Bunnahabhain, ’82 Inchgower & ’96 Longmorn)


Wemyss is pronounced ‘Weems’ and comes from the Gaelic word for caves. They’re a well respected independent whisky bottler, and soon to be distillery owner with Kingsbarns Distillery in the building (as I write this).

I’ve been lucky enough to review three Wemyss Malts releases, a 2001 Bunnahabhain a 1996 Longmorn and a 1982 Inchgower.


WM-Bunna2001 Bunnahabhain

This 21yo Wemyss Malts bottling is given the description of ‘Chocolate Honeycomb’, it’s 46% ABV.

Gold in colour.

Rich malty nose, honeyed sweetness with slight back aromas of the coast. Gentle nuts and fruits. Generally a ‘quality’ nose to this gentle Islay, with subtle oaky tones at the back, and after time to open more some jellied fruit notes jump out.

On the palate this is slightly spicy at first which soon tails off if held on the tongue into a smooth, malty and gently sweet dram with slightly less fruit than maybe you picked up on the nose. A medium mouthfeel covers your mouth nicely leading to a medium length sweet and malty finish.

Doesn’t need water, but if you do add a drop the sweet aromas are amplified on the nose with chocolaty hints to it. On the palate it doesn’t detract the slight spiciness, it’s just a wee bit thinner on the mouthfeel. Length stays the same, but some coconut notes come through at the end which is a nice surprise, followed by sweet molasses and back to honeyed tones.

A great quality, well presented dram for your mid-evening enjoyment, and worth giving just that little bit extra time to! Top 80’s in score.

Available from Master Of Malt for £52.95


WM-Long1996 Longmorn

This 17yo Wemyss Malts bottle is entitled ‘Toasted Hazelnuts’, it’s 46% ABV.

Pale straw in colour, coming from a hogshead as it does.

A lively, wonderful nose from this great Speysider, there’s summer citrus zest, sweet vanilla, and spicy nuts. The nose hits you nicely, as if it’s stronger than it is, and there’s great cask notes to it as if you’ve just removed the hessian bung and stuck your nose in.

On the palate it’s fairly spicy, especially if you hold it on your tongue, but that eventually subsides leaving a gently sweet dram with just a drop of cask sourness to mix it up. Medium mouthfeel that covers well with oils.

The finish is short to medium in length and enjoyable with some honey notes comes out at the end.

At 46% this is presented naturally, and probably doesn’t need any water, but if you do add a drop it opens up oaky notes a little further and makes the palate that little less spicy and easy going.

This dram is not plain and simple, it’s complex enough to keep you interested for a good while. I’m quite a Longmorn fan, and this is as good as many a good one! Mid to high 80’s.

Available from Master Of Malt for £73.71.


WM-Inch1982 Inchgower

This 31yo Wemyss Malts is called ‘Pears and Almonds’, it’s 46% ABV.

Golden in colour.

Slightly waxy nose, a high alcohol nose tickle even at 46%, woody and spicy with some sweetness and nutty malt at the back, kind of olde worlde smelling.

On the palate it’s a fairly new taste to me, at first hot and spicy while you get used to it, but once you do an unusual mix of flavours that my palate is not quite picking out; peppery certainly, and a really old oily waxy nature for sure, but also underlying gentle old mixed candid fruits that have been left in their cardboard box to a few years too long, not at all unpleasant, just old and a little different / new to me.

The finish is really quite long with slightly sweet vanilla malt coming through happily for a good long while.

A drop of water opens up the nose to more wood, wax and nuts. On the palate it subdues the spices a touch to make it easier to drink, but it keeps it’s waxy/oily nature.

Another really interesting dram from Wemyss, thanks for expanding my whisky education with this old gent of a whisky! 🙂 Mid to high 80’s.

Available from Master Of Malt for £118.29.

Many thanks to Wemyss Malts for the samples!

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