Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review - Nectar Grove

The Nectar Grove is a blended malt created using Highland single malts and finished in ex-Madeira wine casks. It is released in to the Limited Edition series, all of which are bottled at 46% ABV. The series has been crafted from whiskies held within the Wemyss family's portfolio of casks and the names reflect the expected flavour characteristics of each whisky. In the case of Nectar Grove this is a distinct fruity character from the Madeira wine. Other expressions in the Limited Edition series include Kiln Embers and Velvet Fig.

Wemyss Malts is a Scottish based spirits company. In addition to their hand crafted whiskies, they also own Darnley's View gin and two wine brands - Fonty's Pool from Australia and Rimauresq from France. The Wemyss family (pronounced weems) is based at Wemyss Castle, which overlooks the Firth of Forth estuary in Fife. The castle has been the family home since 1421 when it was constructed by Sir John Wemyss. The family have traditional ties to the whisky industry and these remain, as barley grown on their estate is still used by leading distillery companies.

As with the other whiskies in the Limited Edition series, Nectar Grove is bottled at 46% ABV and is no chill-filtered and of natural colour. There will be just 9,000 bottles and they will be available in selected markets including Asia, Europe and the UK. A bottle will cost £43.95.

Our tasting notes
The colour is a vibrant golden yellow and the nose has an immediate mix of aromas such as sweet malt, juicy sultanas and honey. Underneath are further aromas of green apple and pear, plus some golden syrup and white chocolate. There is also a late whiff of cinnamon, white pepper and all-spice.

On the palate this whisky has a delicious thick and viscous feel, which has a nice combination of sweetness and maltiness. The bittersweet malt dominates early but is balanced and by an increasing luscious sweetness and dried fruitiness. The sweetness is driven by notes of golden syrup, honey and brown sugar. The most prominent dried fruit characteristic is of juicy sugary sultanas and this is backed up by some candied lemon and a hint of apricot. There are also background warming spices present - think of cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice and a pinch of star anise and ginger powder. Things are rounded off by a hint of white chocolate and cocoa powder.

The finish is initially sweet but with time the maltiness comes through to leave a bittersweet and slightly dry ending. This is accentuated by the warming wood spices from the palate, especially once the juicy dried fruits and sweet notes fade.

What's the verdict?
The Nectar Grove is a very pleasant and easy drinking whisky. We sampled it on a warm Spring day and the almost exaggerated sweetness and fruitiness seemed to suit the whisky. The heavy malt influence tempers this well and stops it being too sweet. It will be interesting to see what other directions that Wemyss take The Family Collection in. Nectar Grove is a lovely and well priced whisky that is well worth a try.