Nose: Yum! Mixed berries in a light concentrated form: Cottee's cordial. Soft chewy candy (Allens strawberries and cream / purple grape Hai-chu), black muscat in both fresh and dried form: raisins, sweet flavoured iced tea and muscat darjeeling tea leaves. A touch of prunes plays among sweet floral aromas. The assorted berries and fruits such as guava and apple juice are suduced with lush dry sherry and Barossa Valley port. Besides the berry delight and obvious sherry qualities this malt retains textbook Hakushu qualities: earthiness with both dry and fresh foliage, and Tang orange powdered drink mix. Semi-burnt toffee becomes present after a while in the glass. Water brings out nutty elements and enhances the earthiness.
Palate: Spicy - Cardamon and Allspice mixed with rich brown sugar heavily sprinkled over dry sherry. Black Forrest cake, sweet cigar leaf, red grape skins, and figs in syrup roll around with the trademark earthiness and foliage. Semi-burnt toffee over time. The addition of water brings out old wallet leather and allows spices to once again kick-in.
Finish: Dry sherry and sweet cigar leaf. Medium with broil figs and burnt toffee. Water keeps the prickly spices going with nut and leather.
Comment: Regulars of Whiskies R Us know I don't give a score when reviewing, for various reasons, however, if I were forced to give this sexy malt a score I'd most likely give it a high one. The nose is... again sexy, the palate is lush also but the nose alone cranks up the points. I experimented with two forms of glass styles on various occasions and I found the Hakushu Sherry Cask 2013 expression to be more prominent in a short stemware glass than my everyday Glencairn which I use. Now I've got the challenge to track down another bottle - as of writing I've consumed half a bottle.
Hakushu Sherry 2014 review can be seen (here)