Bottled: 2013 - Outturn: 9900 bottles - Vatting: Mizunara & bourbon barrels - ABV: 58.5%
Nose: Fans of Apple and pear will take an immediate liking to this - mostly in the form of juice concentrate and stews (perhaps throw in apple pie for good measure). Past this, caramel sauce over waffles with evident vanilla cream and custard. Brown creaming soda. From here it gets quite oaky, biscuity, and malty, in a sweet way - think Ovaltine. Fragrant hay. Water opens the gates: a mix of soft kiwi fruit, lime, and yuzu jam on toast before going to bitter green herbs, leather, and mellow fragrant wood.
Taste: Prickly heat, leather, grilled Ginkgo seeds (Ginnan), and a detection of Tabasco sauce. Definitely oaky, again malty, and peppery. Wood spice. The only sweet attributes that relate to the nose is caramel syrup, but in a spicy way. Chai perhaps? The bitterness of the Ginkgo seeds is enhanced with water along with an ever so faint menthol taste.
Finish: Moderate and prickly with heat. Water brings bitter apple juice and white pepper.
Comment: This has a very spirity note on the palate similar to that of The Floor Malted. Also, in my opinion, at certain stages it had similar aromas to that of a private release Chibidaru cask (well, that's what I automatically thought of) - and before you say "how is that possible", I know: different cask sizes and wood types were in play. Perhaps these similar attributes (opinion only) from various releases show that Chichibu's "house style" and new-make are of prime quality and very consistent?