Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nikka Taketsuru NAS

The Nikka Taketsuru is a non age statement blended malt released in 2014 (in Europe). According to Nikka most malts in this one are around 10 years old. Bottled at 43% vol.

  • Nose: Wood aromas, berries, green banana, grape gums, muscat grapes
  • Mouth: Some light sherry, oily, wood, some slight tobacco, feels and tastes a bit watery nonetheless
  • Finish: Fruity, sherry and honey and a hint of smoke. Still a bit watery. Adding a little bit water enhances the fruity aromas and adds some vanilla.
Comment: Lovely blended malt with a very Japanese profile. But the watery taste in the mouth and finish diminishes the overall enjoyment a little bit. Adding water gives it more fruitiness but certainly doesn't help with the slightly watery overall taste.

83 points

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Miyagikyo 1989 - 23yo - Cask #40745

A Nikka Miyagikyo single cask from 1989 bottled in 2010. 60% vol. Not sure what cask type this is...

  • Nose: Oak, solvent, a little tobacco, licorice, water opens it up a lot with smoke, sherry and caramel with vanilla
  • Mouth: Oily, smoky, burnt ham and burnt/caramelized papaya and figs, oak and something like chewing on fresh green'ish twigs
  • Finish: Smoky, a bit oak and sherry, water makes it peppery and more smoky. A tad sharp and fairly dry. At the very end some subtle (Fino?) sherry comes trough.
Comment: Flavorful with some tasty caramelized fruits but it's not one that is easy to grasp. You need two or three sessions with this one. Also a bit rough around the edges.

87 points

Miyagikyo 10

The Nikka Miyagikyo 10 year old. The youngest standard from the Nikka Miyagikyo distillery with an age statement. Bottled with a solid 45% vol.

  • Nose: Green vegetables, fresh and light malt, banana, tropical fruits, water makes it fruitier 
  • Mouth: A bit smokey and grassy, slightly oily
  • Finish: Spices, caramel, vanilla, poundcake with caramel cream, cream, light smoke/ peat and oak.
Comment: Generally not too, it doesn't feel too young although it still feels not completely round. Unlike with the Yoichi I think the Miyagikyo 12 is a good step up from the 10yo.

83 points

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kirin - 50°

And another bottom shelf whisky. This time the Kirin Whisky 50°. The 50 suggest the 50% abv. which makes this one stand out a bit from the usual cheap whiskies. Costs around 10~15€ if  I remember correctly with 600ml bottle size.

  • Nose: Fruity banana, earthy and some light oak, a touch alcoholic
  • Mouth: Malt, light sweetness, green vegetables (green pepper'ish)
  • Finish: Sweet malt, a touch sherry, chocolate, oak
Comment: For the price quite complex and strong enough for some experimenting with water. Maybe a touch too young and a little bit too much caramel... otherwise recommended.

77 points

White Oak - Gold

A cheap blend(?) from the Eigashima distillery. Bottled with 39% vol. and costs less than 10€ in a 550ml bottle.

  • Nose: A bit alcoholic with pea soup !? and vinegar
  • Mouth: Sweet and watery with a touch Kellogs Smacks
  • Finish: Very short, some light malt and chocolate. Very sweet
Comment: Remarkably unremarkable with barely any flavors present but fairly drinkable.

70 points

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Suntory Old

Suntory Old Whisky. This blend was the first big success for Suntory, released in the 1950s. Prior Suntory whiskies where the white label single malt (1929) and the Kakubin (1937) blend. Bottled with 43° vol.

  • Nose: Alcoholic bite, green bananas, grain, sweet and floral, sugar water
  • Mouth: Sweet caramel, Kellogg's Smacks cereals, mild
  • Finish: Short, sweet, some light tannins, alcohol

Comment: This has the typical young cheap'ish blend characteristics, but underneath the sweet caramel lingers some fairly decent but flawed/too young whisky. Not that bad for what it is thou.

74 points

Karuizawa - 1999 - Memories Of - #879

A 13 years old sherry cask matured Karuizawa from the Memories of Karuizawa series. Bottled at 62.9% vol.

  • Nose: Dry Oloroso(?) sherry, rum raisins, assorted woods, sandalwood
  • Mouth: Very oily, woods, earthy with leaves like in a dry forrest
  • Finish: Red berries, a bit smokey, some light tannins, juicy tobacco, long and warm
Comment: One of the if not the best young Karuizawa I tasted so far. Very balanced with plenty of sherry and depth.

90 points