Monday, March 10, 2014

Back to Basics (3): Suntory Kakubin 40% abv

Part 3 of this mini-series looks at Suntory's iconic Kakubin (square bottle) blend, which as the label suggests was launched in 1937. 

Nose: Sweet grain bread with a smidgen of honey. Mellow vanilla candy sticks (fads), and suggestions of rice pudding. Raw button mushrooms, brown paper bags, and rich buttery grain. Then, pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds. Creamed corn and/or cream cheese spread. Floor wax. A tad fruity. Water brings forth French toast and malt content.

Taste: Just as decent straight as it is as a highball, certainly not one to categorize as a "mixer" only. Vanilla, oaky malt, and smooth grain cereals. Vegetal: baked, slightly peppered squash, Relatively smooth for a "low budget" blend with toffee and Weet-Bix. Water enhances a spicy/bitter combination and cardboard qualities, which are not unpleasant.

Finish: A sprinkle of white pepper, moderate, with a slight bitter/sweet grain finish. Pink grapefruit and hints of honey.

Comment: Perhaps a good "go to blend" between malts to refresh your palate. Although it is quite enjoyable in its iconic highball form it is well worth trying it straight, something I must confess not really doing until now. In a critical sense it is not extremely exciting but nor is it unpleasant, it is actually not that bad if the truth be told. It gives the Premium Kakubin a run for its money.

Part 1 and 2 can be seen here and here.


  1. Replies
    1. Between the Kaku and Malt Club there's been a few of them...memories that is.

  2. Nicole's 40th B'day party on Saturday, will be knocking back more than a few H'balls with Pete-san and Ron-san.