Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yamazaki 1984

Here we go with tasting note number 100!
Aged in Japanese Mizunara, Spanish (sherry butt) and American oak casks and bottled at 48% vol.
This one is 25 years old and bottled in 2009 limited to 2500 bottles.

  • Nose: Initially very subdued, needs 20~30 minutes to fully open up. Then you get some light sherry sweet tropical fruits like papaya and mango honey and light tobacco, sandalwood, generally quite rich and thick. Over time a mint note develops.
  • Mouth: Oily with some sherry, fresh and fruity oak
  • Finish: Long with different oaks, sugary sweet and honey, sherry, spices oranges and exotic fruits, with a few drops water a rich vanilla note develops
Comment: Excellent all around! Rich and fruity with superb nose and finish. Very harmonic and sweet with much to discover everywhere. Love it.

92 points

Hakushu Heavily Peated - NAS (2013)

From the 2013 Suntory limited NAS line this years Hakushu Heavily Peated. Non chill filtered and bottled at 48% vol.

  • Nose: Peaty with smoke, peat sweetness, molasses, sandalwood, with water a bit grassy-green and honey melon. A bit hot on the nose without water.
  • Mouth: Sugary sweet peat, but also dominating peat which overpowers other more subtle flavors, medium oily and a tad medical, pepper
  • Finish: Peat, grassy sweet, pepper and spice, brine, lingering peat sweetness at the very end.
Comment: The peat is fairly overpowering, also quite spicy with pepper. Generally I think the peat and pepper is too dominating and unbalances the whisky a bit. Still a good whisky although not for everyone.

82 points

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yoichi NAS

A no age statement Yoichi bottled in 0.5L bottles. Surprisingly easily available here in Germany - bought it in a supermarket! 43% vol. alcohol

  • Nose: Malt, medium peat and smoke, some green vegetables and green banana maybe, slightly youngish with some mild alcoholic bite, raisins
  • Mouth: Peat and relatively fruity, some alcoholic bite but not too bad
  • Finish: Warm, peat, smoke, chili and a touch of oak
Comments: Very enjoyable to drink although a touch youngish in the overall profile. But for the price it's excellent.

80 points

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Karuizawa 1999 - 14yo - The Last Bottling

Nope, not the last bottling but seemingly the last bottling for the retailer Isetan. Fourteen years old and bottled at 60.5% cask strength.

  • Nose: Sherry and oak, quite fruity, cinnamon and oranges
  • Mouth: Sherry with more of a PX feel, sweet with butterscotch candy and with a tad tannins, without water it has a creamy mouthfeeling
  • Finish: Fruity, sherry, warm and with some woods at the very end. Generally quite accessible for a Karuizawa
Comments: Smooth and accessible without the roughness some other young Karuizawas sometimes have.

85 points

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Miyagikyo 2002 - Cask# 101127

A Nikka Miyagikyo, been a while since I tasted one. This one was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2012 just slightly missing the 10 year mark. Aged in a refill Butt and bottled with 62% vol. cask strength.

  • Nose: Honey, Grass, fruits (sort of tropical), quite sharp - water lessens the sharpness and brings forth Haribo Gummi Bears (the green ones), kiwi + apple juice
  • Mouth: Fruity, slightly oily and depending on the water amount a tad sharp
  • Finish: Fruity with apple and kiwi again, sweet and again a bit sharp

Comment: This need and takes quite a bit of water although it is a two edged sword. A little bit brings a lot of fruitiness while some alcoholic sharpness remains. Adding more makes it milder without diluting the overall punch too much but mutes all the lovely fruit. Still I love the fruit here with just a little bit of water.

85 points

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yoichi 12

Nikka Yoichi 12, one of the standards from the Yoichi line. Bottled at 45%

  • Nose: Peaty and very maritime, smokey and a bit grassy with honey in the background. Hints of tobacco and oak
  • Mouth: Quite light, peat, some very light oak and a touch of sherry?
  • Finish: Some woods, peat, medium long, warm
Comment: Classic peaty Yoichi but not overly complex. I think the 10 year old or the 15 year old are a much better deal value wise.

83 points

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Suntory Royal 12yo

The Suntory Royal from the 80's or 90's I believe with the 12yo age statement quite hidden engraved at the bottom of the bottle. I'm not really sure if this is a blend or really just differently marketed Yamazaki single malt, but I couldn't find anything definite so I'll assume this is a blend. Bottled at 43%. Also there are a few different bottle variations of this one out there.

  • Nose: Celery, a little honey, green grass and a little bit alcohol
  • Mouth: Quite mild and subdued, oily
  • Finish: Very mild again, with some malt, carrots and some nuttiness at the end. Generally quite short.
Comment: This tastes young than it is with rather subdued flavors. The vegetable notes are a bit unusual.

78 points