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.