Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Suntory Special Reserve 10yo 43%

Nose: Peaches, apple custard, crepes with sliced banana and sweetened whipped cream, milk bottles (a soft, chewy, milky flavoured lolly). There's a cheeky citrus peel rolling of the top - I'm going for mandarin. Among these aromas there is a nice welcoming soapy element - reminds me of an 80s bottling of Edradour 10yo. With time an interesting rich golden straw element and mild oak. Then, a vegetal note of fried radish stems and leaf. 

Taste: Straight up you get tantalizing spice - cloves, ginger cookies and/or traditional spicy ginger ale. Stewed apples abundant with again, cloves. Creamy and mellow. A touch of that mandarin is present. Like the nose you get that floral-soapy touch, which I like. With time it presents bitter tannins. Peppered celery. Mild oak. Once the bottle becomes oxidized the presence of iron tablets kick in.

Finish: Spice and green vegetal notes (again, celery). Mellow, moderate finish with a descent balance.

Comment: The Special Reserve 10yo, which was aged in White Oak barrels using key malt from the Hakushu distillery tends to get over looked by many malt enthusiasts. With all the hype around other Japanese whiskies this little guy often gets passed up. I'm guilty of it my self, it has taken me over a few years to make a purchase, and an extremely cheap purchase at that. An everyday but rewarding whisky that everyone should have in their cabinet. 

The Suntory Special Reserve review (circa 1980s) that carries a no-age-statement can be seen here.


  1. A lovely blend indeed and can still be picked up for under Y1000. Better than many a Karuizawa I've tried that sell for over Euro1000. Have you tried the Suntory Royal 15 Clint. Another excellent Suntory Blend that can be picked up for a few thousand Yen.

    1. Hi Brian, funny enough I have yet to try and buy the Royal 15yo. It was/is a priority on my want list simply because I haven't tried it or owned a bottle of it considering it can be bought, again, so cheaply. Lets not forget to mention that there is still an abundance of this bottling available. I recall you recommending this a few years ago when I did a brief review on the NAS Royal. Not sure why I never got around to it to be honest. I'm starting to enjoy all these old blends / blended malts, something which I really didn't do from the start. Focused to much on other limited stuff. Looking forward to getting it soon. Cheers.