The Special Reserve 10yo, which was married in sherry casks made its debut across Japan on September 9, 1998. Naturally both the malt and grain was matured for more than 10 years before the blending process began. After malt and grain merged, it was further married in toasted sherry casks. Suntory's original press release can be read (here).
Nose: Mild effervescent orange and mellow Oloroso sherry. Reminiscent of a homemade sherry trifle: sliced jam roll cake lightly splashed with cream sherry, tinned fruit, and vanilla custard. It also transforms to steamed Christmas pudding: dried fruit and mixed peel (orange, lemon, apple). Fairy bread, weak icy pop liquid, strawberries and vanilla cream soft lollies, crushed coconut and cherries. Honey. Comes off as quite a sweet little number and it is - but in a very mellow manner.
Taste: Reasonably mild and smooth with burnt brown sugar and spiced toffee: (nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger). Charred casks are evident in the form of scorched prunes. A bit watery, grainy, and light to moderate sherry influence. Walnuts with hints of mellow vanilla spice. Water (literally a few drops) lifts the game and brings sweet aromas to the palate (following the nose) and again, lightly spiced musky prunes.
Finish: Walnuts and burnt brown sugar with a medium finish. Right at the back of the tongue lays a slight yeast bitterness.
Comment: Very enjoyable, a good session malt but Id prefer it to be much more richer on the sherry front when it comes to the palate. Nevertheless, a good "refresher" between malts that is way too easy to drink. No sherry monster but top nose!