The nose of the Wemyss “Heathery Smoke” 30 yo Islay opens with lavender in a steel bottle in a time capsule set down by your great, great spinster aunt Heather of whom many stories are told. It’s like a thermometer loaded with ricin and mercurochrome: Breaking it would be Bad, but you get a vicarious thrill from popping it in your little sister’s mouth, ostensibly to take her temperature. It’s akin to a bully shoving a potpourri sachet up your snout (if you were a dog) and even more akin to your coarse-grained sandpaper bursting into flames while you were sanding down your ebony baseball bat. [John: This really needs to be edited out.] Sorry, John, this is my review. Sweetness and fruits explode after a time, like throwing a banana instead of a bone in the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey (and then watching in stupefied awe as it turns into a mango that rockets into space).
On the mouth, it’s clover filling a cleft palate while eating a cloven-hoofed demon. (Are there any other kinds? Angels dancing on pin heads disagreed.) Anise on the tongue, burning autumn leaves, smoldering rosemary sprigs, and the Peatman Cometh. It’s ninja peat that crept up on you, but rather than an assassin, this ninja is simply networking and giving out business cards. Much more ominous is the Romulan Peat Vessel decloaking in Federation Palate Space outside of the neutral zone. Down-shifting bathetically, we got peat made from lavender-leaf sarongs worn by Pict mimes who perished in a hypothetical mirth quake during the Stoned Age of Mythic Giros.
The finish goes on and on, dropping peat references like a person with an eidetic memory seeking to impress an English teacher by giving the Merriam-Webster definitions for all irregular intransitive verbs over 15 letters. An epic fail for the nerd, but an epic success for the Weymss. The finish is actually a refined Peat who prefers to be called Pyiotr. The finish finishes with elote heavy on the Cotija cheese and tajin spices. Spectacular.
The Wemyss “Heathery Smoke” 30 year-old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is “Never trust anything over 30—thank goodness that the Weymss ‘Heathery Smoke’ is not over 30!”–And I think that about sums it up! Yum.
–Our thanks to Karen Stewart and Wemyss for the sample!