With Easter on the horizon, it’s no wonder I’ve got chocolate on the brain. I loved the holiday as a kid. Growing up in a non-religious family, I definitely took on the more Easter Egg and Easter Bunny slant than the religious side. As such, the holiday weekend was all about running around, dressed in some floral patterned outfit, hunting down my prized baskets of chocolates.
And so, with the theme so ever-present on my mind, it seemed only appropriate to review a couple of excellent new releases from Wemyss Malts, that both have a bit of chocolate inspiration in their name.
The one – Cocao Geyser – seems to be sold out in a lot of places, but I’ve put my notes on it below in case you come across it in a bar, at a friend’s house, or in an Easter basket (the latter being far less likely, I would suggest).
As background, Wemyss is an independent bottler that focuses on the flavours found in the single cask whiskies it bottles, more than the age/distillery. Each bottle is given an interesting name to reflect that side of things. And while each will state the year it was distilled, the date it was bottled and the distillery it is from, it is the names of each one that really stand out.
The two I’ve recently sampled are the aforementioned Cocao Geyser and Dark Treacle Fondant. The former is a Bowmore, that was distilled in 1998, while the latter is from Craigellachie and was distilled in 2002.
Here’s what I thought of each:
Wemyss Malts Dark Treacle Fondant: 2002 Craigellachie: 46%:
(c): Golden Syrup
(n): Butter, toffee, orange peel, sap – slightly acidic but still very rich. Honey, liquorice, taffy – almost smells chewy! Loads of raisins and brown sugar, and something almost savoury, bordering on fried sage leaves or butternut squash!
(p): Quite thick at first and then a nice spice opens it up. Red fruits, toffee, something ashy, nutmeg and brown sugar. Well-rounded and warming. A tiny bit of a sulphury note and lots of spice (powdered ginger) rounds it out.
(f): Nutmeg and treacle.
In conclusion: Enjoyable but quite a big sherry influence – big personality and possibly too rich for me, but one for those who love big, bold whiskies!
Wemyss Malts Cacao Geyser: 1998 Bowmore: 46%:
(c): Amber agate
(n): Smells old – like an old Laphroaig or even Brora. Chocolate, dates and honey. Just a hint of rich smoke, like cigars. Chocolate covered cherries and something just a bit acidic: maybe lemon peel.
(p): Chocolate covered pineapple. Slightly waxy and wonderfully warming. Honeysuckle and vanilla, just a bit of spice up front. Cinnamon, coffee, lemon & orange marmalade, and something a bit bitter, like pith. Lush. Balanced, indulgent, delicious.
(f): Chocolate and cigarettes.
In conclusion: A wonderful whisky that’s older than it looks. Bold, bountiful and beautiful (especially with a wedge of dark chocolate on the side).
With thanks to Wemyss Malts for the samples.