By Richard Thomas
Wemyss’s Melon Vine single cask is from Aberfeldy, a distillery founded by Dewars in the late 1890s. Located in a tiny highland village with a modern population of less than 2,000, Aberfeldy has had a turbulent history. The distillery closed operations during both World Wars due to the shortage of barley, and reportedly kept up with its role as a whisky supplier by cutting the age of its standard stock back from seven years to only three.
Aberfeldy has bounced back since then, was greatly expanded in the 1970s, and today is both the single largest supplier for Dewars and also has its own single malt releases. And, of course, some of Aberfedly’s stock finds its way into the hands of negociants like Wemyss Malts.
Melon Vine was distilled in 1994 (20 years old), and the cask produced a run of 242 bottles at the standard 46% abv. Wemyss had a similar release last year, Melon Cocktail, but we did not review that one.
Melon Vine has the light, pale appearance of dry straw. The nose lives up to the whisky’s name, smelling of cantaloupe and green apples, a scent I am very familiar with because it reminds me so much of my father’s favorite fruit bowl. Add to that the scent of apple mint and there you have it.
The flavor continues with that mild melon and mint vein, very simple and straightforward, with a certain dry tinge running underneath. The finish has a theme similar to the Wemyss reviewed as yesterday’s Whiskey Wednesday feature, in that it is like an apple-flavored hookah tobacco ball, and delivers mild warmth.
The Whiskey Reviewer has gotten out in front of things with the summer 2014 Wemyss Malts release. The suggested price range for these whiskeis is £80 to £700, but the prices these Wemyss single casks are actually sold for is sometimes a bit different, and no retailer has actually listed Melon Vine yet.