Taste: Merchant's Mahogany Chest 1991 Wemyss Malts

Sunday, May 18, 2014


This is the 3rd of the Wemyss malts from the recent Twitter event I participated in. To recap things kicked off with the Lord Elcho blend before moving on the 1st single cask release of the night Pastille Bouquet from the Mortlach distillery. The other single cask representative was the Merchant's Mahogany Chest, distilled in 1991 by Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown.

In my last post about the Pastille Bouquet I covered the reasoning behind these evocative names from Wemyss malts and how particular they can be when bottling a single cask. I really enjoyed nosing the Mortlach but it was run very close by this Merchant's Mahogany Chest that is a real treat to experience. For the majority of the tasters this was the dram of the night.

22 year old Glen Scotia's don't grow on trees and the distillery is another that is relatively unknown and not en vogue to the marketing and fashionista types - their loss really and more for us.  
Distillery: Glen Scotia
Distilled: 1991
Bottled: 2013 (around 22 years old)
Strength: 46%
Edition of: 807 bottles
Expect to pay: around £105 and that my friends is a bargain

Colour: well loved copper

Aroma: Treacle sponge, a real richness of oils, raisins, worn yachting ropes, dark chocolate and in the background a faint echo of all I can describe as cough syrup. This is a real woody nautical nose; reminded me of the Knockando 25 year old which is excellent but hard to find unless you live in France.

Palate: Ginger loaf, espresso, lots of chocolate, chilli flakes, Iberico ham and classic cigar notes with a waxy finish. Huge depth and flavours; like roaming an antique shop.

This was the star dram of the night for most of the tasters and you can see why; a real joy to nose and taste. Making this a real treat and a special occasion bottle depending on your financial clout. Well within my reach, this Wemyss release is a snip at the asking price and puts its along side the Glenmorangie Signet almost, which retails for around £120. Both are tremendous whiskies with this Merchant's Mahogany Chest providing more bang for your buck as its not laboured by fancy packaging and has matured extremely well.

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