By Richard Thomas
When those crafty folks at Wemyss Malts released their Lord Elcho 15 Year Old in 2012, it was the first foray into blended scotch for a company that previously had stuck with vatted malts and single casks. Last month Wemyss built on that release by adding a no age statement (NAS) version of Lord Elcho. Note that the introduction of an NAS Lord Elcho does not mean Lord Elcho 15 Year Old will be no more, although some drinkers may find the nearly identical packaging of the two expressions somewhat confusing.
Lord Elcho NAS was bottled at 40% abv, and reportedly has a 40%-plus malt whiskey content, falling firmly within the crafty blended scotch practice of upping the proportion of malt in the blend. The coloring is fresh straw yellow.
The nose is crisp, and reminiscent of nipping at an apple in a moist, grassy field on a breezy, sunny day. Add in a little woodiness, and that is the scent of this version of Lord Elcho. While not as rich as the 15 year old version was, it certainly has a very Spring-like character.
The palate has a chewy texture that goes very well with the caramel note in the flavor, giving the whole thing a thick, almost candy character. A pinch of ginger gives that candy a spicy side and a bit of balance. The finish leans into dry, takes its time winding down, and has a nutty tone.
This NAS Lord Elcho is markedly cheaper than the 15 Year Old original, listed at £25.95 ($44), making it quite reasonably priced for a craft blend of its caliber.