Nose: Typical Hanyu charisma with traits we all long for. Juniper Berry & Sandalwood Potpourri with floral-accented aromas. Rare exotic spices (Sumac), apple, birch and quince - honeyed and fresh. Time in the glass introduces Brazilian grilled pineapple (grilled pineapple wedges smothered in condensed milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon). Then, mild Cassis mustard, Mariage Freres' Bel Ami tea (safflowers, roses, masked with pomegranate) and Cadbury Rocky Road chocolate. Spicy mango chutney drifts in and out from here on. With water and additional time tangy but mellow tomato and/or raspberry vinegarette. Then, again, milk chocolate but this time coating roasted coffee beans. Very chameleon like - has the ability to change.
Taste: Sandalwood, wild berry and exotic spices (Sumac) are at the forefront. Tickling the tongue from here on is mulberry with roasted pine nuts and mild mint sauté. Bel Ami tea with a smidgen of Red Gum honey. Do I detect a fusion of strawberries and Wasabi? Wandering spices are continuiously in play with peppered almonds and Cassis mustard. With water and time grilled Shiso leaf and aromatic wood (berry and sandalwood). Mellow hints of licorice. The addition of extra water adds sweet coffee beans and balsamic vinegar over fried tomato (in a welcoming way). Longer exposure in the glass provides various experiences.
Finish: Peppered almonds and Cassis mustard. Quite moderate and prickly with a playful bitterness of tea leaves and spicy honey.
Comment: This malt truly gets better and better as you get close and personal with it. Like most malts don't go by your first impression, wait until you get into your 3rd or 4th dram - patience prevails. It is forever changing with the influence of all those different cask types involved (see here).