Friday, February 8, 2013

Ichiro's Malt "Card Series" - Five of Diamonds

Distilled: 2000 - Bottled: 2012 - Age: 12-year-old - Cask: #1305 - First cask: Hogshead - Second cask: Sherry Butt - Outturn: 652 (bottle 175) - ABV: 57.7% - Distillery: Hanyu

Nose: Initially a bit spirity when first cracked but this fades given time and bottle oxidation. Once this has surpassed and the heavy heat becomes tame lovely aromas begin to surface…after breaking away from the heavy wood spice that is. Jam rolls soaked in dry sherry with a dollop of vanilla custard, stewed cinnamon apples, toffee apple, tangerine chocolate, and hints of mixed peel and pot pouri mingle with each other over time – with a lot of patience and water.

Taste: Anise, spice, eucalyptus, and menthol play among each other creating the perfect representation of a Fisherman’s Friend lozenge. This malt has whopping wood spice, extremely warming, prickly, and again, a decent whack of heat. Past these attributes old leather, a tinge of fragrant wood, cloves, and baked grapefruit peel. Water tames everything while turning the old worn-out leather into fresh hide.

Finish: Long with lingering menthol, eucalyptus, spice and subtle anise.

Comment: This bottling, which is one of the last four from the card series (besides the assumed Jokers) may be up many people’s alley. Although interesting, respectable, and artisan, unfortunately it is not up mine at this stage. But hey…perhaps  my taste buds are being picky and comparing the Five of Diamonds to the lush Ace of Clubs and Seven of Spades, which quite rightly do shine with extreme individuality.

Reviewed by Clint A


  1. I haven't had a great Sherry Cask finished Hanyu yet Clint. Seems they never bought the quality of sherry butt that Yamazaki/Hakushu acquired.

    1. I seem to recall you mentioning this before, Brian. I have taken a look at all the Sherry Cask finished (Hanyu) reviews over at The Japanese Whisky Review and your notes certainly suggest this...they are pretty on par with my thoughts on this bottle's finish. Clint