Another Thursday and another Wemyss blended malt! Although the previously reviewed Peat Chimney has a similar profile on paper in terms of its makeup, this Spice King is quite a different animal. Spice King is composed of about 60% Speyside single malts with the remainder being peated Highland malts along with a splash of heavily peated Islay for good measure. By the whisky’s color, I’m guessing that this is mostly ex-Bourbon cask matured. It’s natural coloured and non-chill filtered and bottled at 46%.
Nose: This isn’t quite as peated as the Peat Chimney, but there’s enough of it to tell you where part of this blend came from. There’s more pear than apple here and that becomes stronger as this sits in the glass. Initially, there was quite a bit of citrus in the form of freshly squeezed lemon and navel orange, but that has subsided quite a bit. Really loving this pear and citrus combination. Some sponge toffee is shining through now along with a hint of dark chocolate. That latter note isn’t there with every sniff. It comes and goes. Now it’s vanilla’s turn. It’s almost like a lightly peated vanilla ice cream, if such a thing were to exist. Ginger and cinnamon is what I get in terms of the spicing and maybe a tiny bit of coriander. Not as much as the Peat Chimney though.
Palate: On the first sip, I wasn’t sure if this whisky was living up to its name. That was dispelled on the second sip. There’s not a heavy spice kick here, but there’s certainly more than Peat Chimney. To start, the entry is light and sweet with vanilla, honey, and some orange. That citrus is turned up a notch as this tips into the development along with building ginger and cinnamon. The peat starts to ramp up with grilled lemon mid-way through the development and that dark chocolate starts to appear near the end.
Finish: Dark chocolate and sponge toffee start this off, but yield to the remaining spice as the finish chugs along. The citrus sticks around till the end. The length of this finish is surprisingly long.
I’m more of a fan of this one than the Peat Chimney. What makes this one so special is the how this evolves on the nose. The successive waves of different scents really help to set up the palate, which delivers a very pleasant balance of sweet, bitter, citrus and spice. The dark chocolate was a lovely surprise and really helped to add an extra layer of richness to the experience. In Alberta at least, all three of these Wemyss blended malts are between $70-80 CAD, which is a fantastic value. Highly recommend this one.