Age: 9 years - Distilled: 1998 - Bottled: 2008 - Wood type: white oak - Cask type: hogshead - Cask number: CD40728 - Bottling: 94/246 - ABV: 56%
Nose: Clean; a distinguishable trademark of Hakushu. Oak, barley-fruity mix: raisins. Sweet: custard, faint hint of licorice, heather-honey, chopped almonds, and vegetation.
Taste: Busy, a medium spice numbs your tongue on arrival before drifting of to a presence of oak, sweetened barley and custard tart. The licorice lurks softly but quickly disappears.
Finish: Short medium. Sweet spice, mid ground makes way to a hint of sandalwood before rolling away to a finale of vanilla custard.
Comment: I reviewed this without the addition of water. I have a feeling that this would become creamy and silky if added, never the less certainly enjoyable without water. It appears that this expression is limited to 1,600 bottles throughout Japan, and is currently available on certain Japanese online sites. This bottling is priced very reasonably and making it very affordable.