Nose: Decent for a blend that's around $12 (cheaper when on special). An intriguing mixture of sweet and savory aromas. Caramel popcorn, big bourbon qualities (Jim Beam always comes to mind), slight alcohol burn but acceptable, sweet vanilla pastries before a vegetal note of sweet processed corn kernels kick in. A good splash of water brings out a moderate whiff of dried rosemary and after a good 10 minutes in the glass I picked up berry cordial; at first I thought home brand raspberry cordial but then Cottee's mixed berry cordial led the way. Hidden far away is a sweet smoky aroma: smoked sweet potato.
Taste: A few hard edges but these retain themselves before dried pear and bourbon qualities appear, only this time in a fudge form. Caramel popcorn is dominant along with oak, and malt powder.
Finish: Slight roughness that soon fades into that distinctive caramel popcorn followed by a moderate minerally and malty finale.
Comment: Pleasant neat with a splash of water (recommend for those few extra aromas). Refreshing as a highball on a hot day but I find it to be a bit soapy when mixed, so I prefer it as is. I'm on my second bottle, a good blend, one of the best in this price range in my opinion. For some insight into Kirin's marketing presence take a look here.
Reviewed by Clint A