Friday, 6 December 2013

Spirit of Asama 2nd batch

Spirit of Asama 2nd batch

Official bottling 
Single malt - West Honshu
Dark amber 
50.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, apples, cherries, plums, hints of brown paper, hints of leather. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, volatile, tingly. 
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Apples, cherries, plums, vanilla, hints of pears, hints of leather. 
Finish: Long. Apples, vanilla, plums, hints of leather. 

Comments: 

Fruity, a little leathery. This is Karuizawa without the sherry influence. Anything from the distillery is a treat, and this is a special one. Shame the bottles are so overpriced. Thanks to the Mizuwari Whisky Bar for a little sample, fresh from an unopened bottle.

Verdict:

I like this.

Hakushu Bourbon Barrel

Hakushu Bourbon Barrel

Official bottling 
Single malt - West Honshu
Golden 
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Banana, vanilla, lemon zest, orange blossom, wet stones, hints of brass polish. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, expands, turns watery. 
Tasting: Sweet. Lemon zest, vanilla, bananas, orange blossom, wet stones, brass polish. 
Finish: Medium. Orange blossom, bananas, wet stones. 

Comments: 

Minerally and slightly metallic. Long, sweet banana from the bourbon cask, but still quite wild. This is an odd whisky - it's one of the few I've encountered that tastes exactly like it smells.

Verdict:

I like this.

Chichibu Port Pipe

Chichibu Port Pipe

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Honshu
Red
57.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Plums, white chocolate, red grapes, cream, hints of vanilla. With water, sweeter, more grapes, strawberries. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, turns watery, tingly. 
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, plums, cherries, strawberries, vanilla, white chocolate. With water, sweeter, honey, raisins, more strawberries. 
Finish: Medium. Strawberries, plums, red grapes, white chocolate. 

Comments: 

Sweet and luscious, this is a sugar bomb. It might have benefited from further aging. Utter delicious as is, a few more years might have smoothed off the rough edges.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.
 

Miyagikyo 12 yo

Miyagikyo 12 yo

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Honshu
Green gold
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oak, vanilla, butterscotch, apples, sugarcane, melon, hints of burnt sugar. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, watery, expands in the mouth. 
Tasting: Bitter. Vanilla, butterscotch, apples, melon, hints of sugarcane, hints of burnt sugar. 
Finish: Long. Sugarcane, melon. 

Comments:

Bitter, surprisingly so, but cut with a sweet, slightly smoky undertone. A very gentle whisky, something I'd enjoy unwinding at the end of the day with.

Verdict:

I like this.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013

Official bottling 
Single malt - Islay
Straw
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, vanilla, pears, lemon zest, oatmeal, hints of fish sauce. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose, volatile. 
Tasting: Bitter sour. Lemon zest, peat, smoke, pears, vanilla, apples, oatmeal . 
Finish: Short. Lemon zest, apples, pears, peat, smoke, hints of melon. 

Comments: 

Fruity and smoky, this is a devastating combination. Despite the age of the whisky (a vatting of 4 and 5 year old casks), there is an amazing depth of flavour. Complex and delicious.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


St George's Distillery Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bottling

St George's Distillery Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bottling

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Anglia
Dandelion
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oranges, apples, oak, butter, hints of banana, hints of peat. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, expands, turns watery. 
Tasting: Sweet salty. Oranges, apples, milk, butter, hints of caramel, hints of banana. 
Finish: Medium. Apples, milk, caramel, hints of banana. 

Comments: 

My first English whisky! This was bottled to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is gentle and sweet, with a slight savoury undertone. A little musty, with a milky hint of what is almost yoghurt. A little young and one dimensional, perhaps.

Verdict:

I like this.
 

Glen Keith 42 yo 1968/2011

Glen Keith 42 yo 1968/2011

Connoisseur's Choice, Gordon & Macphail
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
46% ABV 
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, vanilla, grapefruit, lemon zest, hints of pomelo. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, tingly, warm. 
Tasting: Sour. Orange peel, vanilla, sandalwood, lemon zest, pomelo, hints of cloves. 
Finish: Short. Orange peel, vanilla, lemon zest, bitter grapefruit pith. 

Comments: 

Fresh and alluring, this whisky is strongly citrusy, almost sharp. It's very delicate, and doesn't show its age at all. Quite refreshing.


Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Hanyu Chibidaru Cask #346

Hanyu Chibidaru Cask #346

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Honshu
Rose
58.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Honey, grapefruit, orange peel, rose water, cream, cardamom, saffron. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thin, watery, delicate. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Honey, grapefruit, rose water, cream, saffron, orange peel, hints of walnuts. 
Finish: Short. Honey, grapefruit, rose water. 

Comments: 

Amazingly delicate, floral and spicy. This is magnificent whisky. Oddly, it doesn't take water well, the lovely fragrant rose water notes simply melt away, with very little further development. It's hard to drink at full strength, but I should have persevered.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.
 

Yoichi 10 yo

Yoichi 10 yo

Official bottling 
Single malt - Hokkaido
Amber
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, malted grain, grapes, apples, tobacco leaf . 
Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, watery. 
Tasting: Bitter sour. Vanilla, malted grain, apples, tobacco leaf, chillies, grass, hints of hay. 
Finish:  Long. Tobacco leaf, vanilla, chillies, grass. 

Comments: 

Long finish, with huge grassy and vegetal notes, and a surprisingly bitter aftertaste. Quite fragrant as well. Complex, quite delicate, good value for money.

Verdict:

I like this.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Canadian Club 6 yo

Canadian Club 6 yo

Official bottling
Blended malt
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Banana, vanilla, black pepper, cloves, cardamom, cream. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, turns watery. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Vanilla, bananas, butterscotch, black pepper, cardamom, hints of brown paper. 
Finish: Medium. Bananas, brown paper, hints of orange peel. 

Comments: 

Spicy, strangely so - must be the rye content. I didn't really rate rye whisky previously, but this is scarily drinkable. Fragrant and redolent with spices, this must be how they warm up in the Great White North.

Verdict:

I like this.

 

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