Nose: Dusty wooden shipping pallets, rich earthy tones, sweet clay, sieved soil, dusty sheds with natural flooring (dirt), wood glue and tree sap. With water the malt becomes tamer and adds a bit of sweetness: meringues, Japanese ramune, and sweet balsamic vinegar. The dust is certainly still present: dusty wool. Very complex but the alcohol is relatively clean in my opinion considering the ABV.
Taste: Wow! Is this really a 10-year-old? Almonds and quite vegetal: thick and salty mushroom soup. The soil, again, has a heavy presence. A good splash of water reveals bitter chocolate and lot of oak.
Finish: Dry, medium to long. Tongue numbing. Earthy with a vegetal mouth feel with prolonged sweet spice on the addition of water.
Comment: Massive malt with massive alcohol. Certainly not a malt for the faint hearted. Extreme and complex in my opinion. Playing with water is fun, and obviously a must. An eye opening experience regardless and I’m looking forward to my next dram of this. This bottling is only available at the distillery, or alternatively you can call directly and organize delivery of their single expressions (within Japan only). Free dial: 0120-170389 (Japanese only).
Reviewed by Clint A