Ichiro’s Malt Hanyu - Chibidaru - TIBS/Whisky Live 2012 - Distilled: 2000 - Bottled: 2012 - Cask# 349 - ABV: 58.4%
This is another lush Chibidaru cask, which posses all the familiar qualities of our beloved Hanyu malt. Rich malt with florals on the nose, earthy with aromatic wood and hidden fruity notes. There is Asian incense and spice, fruit pie - actually deep fried apple pie, and non-toasted crumpets. Last but not least Bubble O' Bill ice-cream gum (the gumball that represents the nose of the character). The aromatic wood remains on the palate with spicy lavender. The warming and tingling spice, yet sweet, mingles with faint Karinto and rich black brewed tea. The finish is just as warming and tingly.
Memories of Karuizawa - 13yo - 1999 - Sherry Cask# 879 - ABV: 62.9%
Muscat sugar, pink singed marshmallows, toffee apple candy bars, sultanas, gravox powder, worcestershire sauce, suggestions of sweetened orange juice and I believe trade mark rubber (new car fan belts to be precise). Complex. This Karuizawa turns to orange sherbet candy when diluted (however, water not needed in my opinion). Palate: Yum, Yum, Yum! This along with a few other sherry expressions is up there in my “Best of the Best” list. Peppery Muscat rubber, melted brown sugar, toffee apple candy bars, overdone thick brown toast, gravox powder, roasted/toasted orange peel, Dashi powder, and a variety of sauces: Mirin, and Tendon sauce (light soy dressing). The finish is long and tingly with a peppery sultana kick.
Miyagikyo Sherry Single Cask# 118913 - 1996 16yo - ABV: 60%
Rich mixed berry cordial on the nose along with fresh homemade cherry sauce, orange juice, fermented black soy beans and rocky road bars. Then, there is another spectrum to this gorgeous malt, not that I can really remember what it actually smells like but Penicillin popped into my mind - perhaps a suggestion of sulphur - but very exceptable at that. On the palate concentrated berry cordial, gravox powder, char-grilled green capsicum, sugar coated mint leaves. It is a meaty malt that’s for sure. The finish is reasonably long with the orange juice and cherry sauce in play.
For alternate reviews take a look at The Japanese Whisky Review - under the "single malt" section for each distillery.