Aged & bottled at: Hanyu distillery by Akuto Ichiro - Whisky type: Pure malt (8-year-old vatted malt from allied distillers - further aged in
for 2 years) - Age: 10-years-old - Cask type: Old heavily charred oak - Bottled: 2005 - ABV: 40% -Limited: 1600 bottles Japan
Nose: Fighting past the oak is an interesting mix of rich, dried fruits: prunes, cooked raisins, and figs. Sarsaparilla syrup is present; I often find this in many expressions bottled by Ichiro-san. After a good 10 minutes in the glass an array of aromas rush for dominance: musk sticks, brandy, new leather, stale boxed charcoal, faint charcoal smoke, and lead pencils followed by a finale of scented cake soap.
Taste: Minerally, iron, conservative spices, sultanas, honey sap, a very brisk appearance of smoke and lead pencils. Possibly a little tame at the ABV of 40%.
Finish: Short-medium. White pepper and sultanas are in play before that minerraly, diluted honey rinses your mouth.
Comment: Water not needed in my opinion. The nose wins hands down in comparison to taste for its rich fruit cake like qualities. Is there such a thing as over charring? I understand the concept but I kept saying to my self "this is too excessive". Still, it was worth the experience with something so limited. I wanted to show the true colour of this whisky, hence the glass shot, but it is in actual fact much darker than this in the bottle.
Reviewed by Clint A