Friday, April 18, 2014

Hakushu Sherry Cask - NAS (2013)

And here we go with the 2013 release of the Hakushu Shery Cask. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to try the 2012 release so this is my first with the Hakushu Sherry Cask NAS. Bottled as ususal at 48% vol with no chill filtration.

  • Nose: Lots of oloroso sherry, dry oak dried plums and cherries, umeboshi candy, with water a bit peppery
  • Mouth: Sherry, spices, thick and oily
  • Finish: Sherry, some light oak, oranges and chocolate, light tannins, chocolate cookies, still oily like milk
Comment: Maybe not the most complex but very enjoyable. Absolute sherry bomb.

87 points

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