Friday, August 2, 2013

Single Cask "Chichibu" Samples by Toa Shuzo

Single Cask “Chichibu” - Distilled: Oct 1999 - Bottled: May 2000 - Cask# 6084 - Malt Master: Mutsuhiko Tsunashima - ABV: 59% - Oak Cask - Distilled and Bottled by : Toa Shuzo Co Ltd

Nose: Lush, juicy, complex, and thick. Scented woods, sandalwood, and rich earthy elements are very prominent. Vanilla slice, musk lifesavers, juicy fruit gum, paw paw, mashed banana, dried pineapple, and maple cinnamon whipped cream is at the forefront of sweetness. And let’s not forget white chocolate. Perfume with hints of lime.

Taste: Aromatic wood spice, earthy, musk candy, cinnamon, nutmeg, heat, very zingy with peppered zucchini and lime followed by charcoal baked potato skins and maple cinnamon pecans. The white chocolate is present in the distant with nougat.

Finish: Long with red musk candy and cinnamon, sandalwood, and the slightest hint of lime.

Comment: The longer this was left an abundance of aromas flew out from everywhere. This was an extremely active cask, purely amazing stuff at 6 months old. I wonder what Hanyu bottling this went into if any at all, or perhaps it went into one of those Golden Horse “Chichibu” single malts? Need to check on those dates I think. These samples are most likely no longer around unfortunately to consume (I presume), but it would have been a waste not to have made archival notes on them while looking past the spelling mistakes on the label.

Single Cask “Chichibu” - Distilled: Oct 1999 - Bottled: May 2000 - Cask# 6077 - Malt Master: Mutsuhiko Tsunashima - ABV: 59% - Oak Cask - Distilled and Bottled by: Toa Shuzo Co Ltd

Nose: Sweet oak with a touch of earthy/sweet peat. Dried strawberry centres covered in milk chocolate. There is melted butter screaming all over this malt - creamed butter and sugar. Lush dried tropical fruit chips, nougat, and salt solution - what a combo. Pot puri is evident with time, and with water fresh red fruits surface.

Taste: Intensely spicy but retains composure. Spicy strawberry/lime jam, dried jack fruit chips, Cajun walnuts, with some bitter melon. It is very earthy malt indeed with a bit of that sweet peat thing throughout. Water intensified bitter elements a bit too much therefore best left as it.

Finish: Spicy little number from start to finish with the spices running a very long marathon. Then sweet peat and rich soil are in the mix, Vietnamese dried fruits and right at the end a bit of menthol.

Comment: This whisky is heaven. Fortunately for me this was dug up and offered at a friendly session, something I could not resist writing notes on. This is Japanese whisky at its best. It retains lots of “house style” characteristics of a particular malt brand that many of us are familiar with. I have made it my mission (among many) to track down a bottle of the 12yo Golden Horse “Chichibu” single malt - it appears to have a very similar profile.


  1. Very interesting Clint. Nice to have friends as well : )

  2. I was extremely impressed with such quality at 6-months. Very active casks indeed with lush flavour profiles. After my notes I crossed referenced with your review on the Chichibu 12yo GH, very similar to the cask#6077. While writing this i also realized that I have yet to try the 8yo Golden Horse Chichibu in that lovely looking sake bottle - still available throughout at 3,900 yen.

  3. The GH 8 is quite a light whisky Clint.

  4. At roughly 3,900 yen (depending on where you buy it) it will not break the bank, however if it is quite a light whisky is the price justifiable in your opinion - put the experience factor aside, is it good cost performance?

  5. I think there are better bang for your buck around. I tried it Hasegawa where I could have bought a bottle and although it was ok, bought other stuff instead. Still, as you mention, it won't break the bank.