Whisky Review: Wemyss Family Collection – Treacle Chest
Category: Blended malt whisky
Bottling: Wemyss Malts, Wemyss Family Collection, Batch 2017/01
Cost: £46.95 buy from Master of Malt
What they say:
Family run, independent bottler Wemyss Malts is releasing a new range of blended Scotch malt whiskies that have been produced from the family’s private collection of maturing whisky casks. Rather than use whisky that has been purchased mature and ready to blend, Wemyss Malts has over the past decade sourced oak cask varieties to partner with single malt spirit selected from some of Scotland’s foremost distilleries.
Under the guidance of industry experts including Charlie Maclean, the Wemyss family have handpicked casks that show the perfect balance between wood and whisky to craft exceptional blended malt whiskies. Each yearly Wemyss Family Collection release will focus on one specific influence that impacts whisky, be it regional, malt style or cask effect.
The first two releases of the Wemyss Family Collection represent two opposite whisky styles; that of bourbon cask matured and sherry cask matured whisky. In keeping with other releases from Wemyss Malts, these new bottlings have been given flavour led names by the Wemyss tasting panel:
Treacle Chest, selected as the second release of the Wemyss Family Collection range is a blend of only 2 Highland single malts with a sweet, cereal character that were chosen to be matured in just 14 1st-fill ex-sherry hogsheads. The resulting 6300 bottles of Treacle Chest are a perfect example of how rich and weighty 1st fill ex-sherry casks influence unpeated Highland Scotch malt whisky.
Bottled non chill-filtered, at natural colour and are 46% abv. They are presented in screen printed 70cl bottles with a striking charcoal and copper detailed gift carton, RRP £47
What I say:
Independent bottler Wemyss Malts announced two new expressions as part of their whole new range of the Wemyss Family Collection. Higlighting one specific influence on whisky, these two blended malts have been chosen to reflect the difference between ex-Bourbon (Vanilla Burst) and ex-Sherry cask (Treacle Chest) maturation. Confusingly they also use whisky from two different regions, namely Speyside and Highlands, though I can only assume these were selected to derive a spirit character complimentary to the cask-type being used? Batch sampled 2017/01
Bronzed copper (11/20), medium tears and medium-large legs
Toffee sweet, dried fruit and nuts, caramelised sugars, caramel, slightly dusty and gristy barley flour, granary toast, bran/husks and oatmeal
Medium-bodied but thins rapidly, sweet and oily, toffee, treacle, dried fruits, nuts, some spice and spirit, raisin, fig and damson, golden syrup flapjacks, toasted granary bread sweetened with honey.
Medium, spicy and sweet, cinnamon, black pepper and toffee/treacle – slightly burnt
On nosing this my initial thoughts were it was an improvement over Vanilla Burst, however I have to declare my Sherry-matured bias may have affected this. The nose promises but sadly the palate didn’t deliver for me, if this is a treacle chest then it is made of a thin veneer of quality wood like mahogany or teak but underneath it is cheap pine. The sweetness disappears and a spirity youthfulness is apparent in this expression too. Despite scoring the same I would say my preference was for this expression due mostly to my predilection for sherry maturation.
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