Monday, December 10, 2012

Mercian - Hanshin Tigers Collaborative Bottling 12-year-old 40% abv

Distillery: Karuizawa - Whisky type: pure malt - Bottled: 2003

Nose: Distinctly 12-yo OB Karuizawa. I find when many of the OB’s are initially opened there is a massive citrus aroma that engulfs your nose, which is the case here. Orange and lemon sherbet, fresh Sunkist orange zest, orange gelatin crystals, and a slight freshly squeezed Yuuzu aroma poke through. This lovely citrus however, in my opinion fades with time and becomes less aromatic as the bottle decreases. Of the bat lovely stewed apricots and trifle like qualities (dry sherry, custard, jam rolls). In given time sweetness develops: toffee and maple syrup. Lurking are chocolate roasted coffee beans, pine, and wood varnish. This is arguably a very complex Mercian release.

Taste: Thin and light, a tad watery but once past this everything positive arrives: sherry wood spice and raw button mushrooms. Beer nut skins, caramel topping, and tinned apricots mingle with a slight sulphur note. In given time a distinguishable molded rubber reveals itself, or is it a faint firework smoke?

Finish: Dry, pulls up a bit short but pleasant. Sherry wood spice and burnt toffee, with a tinny like taste (liking the inside of an empty apricot tin).

Comment: Although some of the notes may not sound that spectacular I actually find this bottling very pleasant. The citrus is amazingly dominant on the nose when first cracked, I presume this will all change as is did with the official OB 12-yo I reviewed a while back (which fell apart half way through). There is certainly a difference between the two bottles. Glad to have a couple of these in my stash which I stumbled across a short while back.

Reviewed by Clint A

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