Expression: Hakushu 10th Whisky Live Japan Anniversary Bottling - Age: 12 years-old - Distilled: 1997 - Bottled: 2009 - ABV: 53% - Cask number: BJ41521 - Cask type: hogshead
Nose: Flat sarsaparilla, burnt baked potato skins. The inside of a sauna; hot-air, steam, damp wooden flooring and seating (in a positive way). Water intensifies the sweetness: chico jelly babies, which I have once associated with an Owners Cask Yamazaki. Slightly florally; the tinniest whiff of lavender came to mind along with turmeric.
Taste: Crisp, slight aftertaste of a burnt baked potato skin, ice block sticks (licked after consumed), slight leafy; cigar. Addition of water streams out a particular sweetness which I couldn't pinpoint, perhaps its the chico babies. In the background there is reminiscent sarsaparilla, chocolate, and a sprinkle of cinnamon with a tiny pinch of mixed spice.
Finish: Medium length. Certainly goes from one extreme to the other: the potato skins are back but not too long before a spray of sweet flavouring and white chocolate lines your mouth. This quickly lingers into fresh oak and a dash of prolonged but gentle spice.
Comment: Although a 12 year-old it displayed youthful characteristics. Again very crisp and fresh. Need to spend a bit of time with this Hakushu. It wont deliver an abundance of aromas and flavours straight of the bat. Spend a bit of time with it and you’ll be rewarded. Certainly good quality, unfortunately, like many good Japanese whiskies, the availability internationally is scarce and only a select few have it available online. This is one of a string of significant bottlings released to salute Whisky Live.
Reviewed by Clint A