Scotch Blended Malt

Vanilla Burst ~ 46% (Wemyss Malts)

Whisky Review: Wemyss Family Collection – Vanilla Burst

Category: Blended malt whisky

Origin: Speyside

Bottling: Wemyss Malts, Wemyss Family Collection, Batch 2017/01

ABV: 46%

Cost: £43.79 buy from Master of Malt

Wemyss Family Collection Vanilla Burst

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:

Vanilla Burst is the first release of the Wemyss Family Collection range and is a blend of only 2 Speyside single malts with a light and fruity character that were chosen to mature in 15 1st-fill Ex-bourbon barrels. The 4800 bottles of Vanilla Burst perfectly demonstrate an intense 1st fill bourbon wood influence on a light and sweet Speyside malt Scotch 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 £43

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

Appearance:

Light reflective gold (6/20), quick but fine and elongated tears leave medium-fine legs

Nose:

Sweet and solventy initially, like a mixture of polish and vanilla cream, iced vanilla cupcakes and a faint hint of citrus fruit lemon/lime, spiced is announced with white pepper and cinnamon which develops into cinnamon pastries, icing sugar, vanilla custard or crème patissiere, fragrant and floral with sweet daisy’s

Taste:

Rich vanilla custard, hints of apple pie and cinnamon, a touch of pear, oaky wood, a slightly metallic coppery tang, spiced and warming and slightly prickly spirit/solventy, cereals present as dry and grassy hay

Finish:

Medium, crystalline, icing sugar, vanilla, zesty and zingy with white pepper and oak spices

Overall:

Creamy and icing sugar sweet, a mass of vanilla and a touch of fruit, citrus, cereal and spice all quite light. The vanilla burst didn’t last too long for me and what was underneath seemed a little youthful and exuberant and not entirely tamed by those bourbon casks. Pleasantly Speyside but lacked depth.

Score: 80/100

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