Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sun Shine Extra Special Whisky 20yo - 59% abv

Nose: Roasted pears, homemade light strawberry liqueur, and berry yogurt. Straight up it is pleasant enough. Past the hard-hitting malt and oak there's coastal floral honey, musk, rich green stems and lightly salted olives. Throughout lemon is in play but it is very manipulative - one minute you'll get week old dusty peel, the next old fashioned lemonade. Lurking in the distant is wet moss and smoke. When diluted the lemon becomes sweeter.

Taste: Spicy oak, malt, char-grilled green capsicum with salt and pepper. The berries have become just one type - evidently blueberries with Cinnamon musk gum, menthol, and lemon. Mid palate becomes quite vegetal: burdock like qualities. Unfortunately it is not as seductive as the nose and with oxidation it presents a solvent in the form of envelope glue; however it is extremely mouth coating malt. Water cuts the spicy punch while adding more of a bitter vegetal flavour profile.

Finish: Long indeed maintaining lightly smoked salted lemon peel, oak, and baker’s yeast. There is that solvent (envelope glue) that surfaces on the last tail of the finish.

Comment: Enjoyable and very decent whisky - well made. Wakatsuru - the company behind this whisky was established in 1882 and is recognized in the industry more so for its Sake brewing skills in Toyama prefecture. Though I feel it wouldn't be something I'd break out on a regular basis. I kind of get the feeling I personally may just become a little "over it" a little too quickly. Once in a while may do the trick.


  1. Interesting, Clint, I had not heard of Wakatsuru before. Is this available at specialist retailers?

    1. Hi Pierre, Sunshine is a "ji whisky" or "local craft whisky" from as mentioned Wakatsuru, a prominent sake brewer (please check the link in the post if you have not done so already) in Toyama. Obviously whisky is not their specialty, but like a few sake brewers they run a whisky distillation every now and then. Sunshine Extra Special Whisky can be found at places such as Liquors Hasegawa and Musashiya (well they did on last check). The majority of places I have found it here in Kansai have been at smaller lesser known establishments. Pardon stock the brands cheaper alternative blends, I have posted in the past about this, which you may remember under "Ji-whisky at Pardon". As a reference you won't find Sunshine Special Extra Whisky at places like Yamaya, so it is safe to say it is at selected shops. The 20yo above retails between 5 and 6 thousand yen (depending on retailers open price). Cheers