Friday, July 22, 2011

Suntory Yamazaki 12yo 43%abv

Nose: Butterscotch, vanilla marshmallows, caramel chews, hint of custard tart, mandarins, and strong alcohol: something slightly chemical.

Taste: Fennels, a very faint hint of licorice, ground cloves, sherry, dry.

Finish: Short-medium spicy mouthfeel with very little sweetness. Pulls up a bit short with nothing dominant lingering: not a lot happening mid-ending.

Comment: A few drops of water works well (careful not to drown it) with the Yamazaki 12 year-old. In my opinion the taste was slightly more appealing, and easier to distinguish the variety of sweet aromas by doing so.

Reviewed by Clint A


  1. Only my personal opinion but from the Suntory standard 12YO stable I much prefer Hakushu 12!

  2. It would be a fair call to say others, including myself, would have the same opinion. I have said it many times in previous posts that Hakushu does it for me opposed to Yamazaki, especially the Hakushu 12 YO. There are a lot of mixed reactions to the Yamazaki 12 YO. Many rave over it while others simply don't. I guess that's the beauty of individual tastes.

  3. I should add Clint that in my experience so far, when it comes to single cask offerings, I prefer Yamazaki over Hakushu. The generally heavier/thicker profile of Yamazaki seems to work better at cask strength than the cleaner/fresher profile of Hakushu for me.
    I would also add that my favorite standard 12 from Suntory the "Hokuto" Pure Malt 12(surely from the name a Hakushu?) was never made available outside of Japan. Shame!

  4. Regarding "Hokuto" Pure Malt, I have not seen the Black label/cap bottle on shelves for a while. I vaguely remember seeing it a good year ago at a Marunaka supermarket. Like the distinctive Yamazaki/Hakushu bottling shape.