Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chichibu Single Cask for Silver Seal 2014 Review

Barley: Floor Malted Optic - Cask# 659 - Cask in: January 2010 - Bottled: February 2014 - ABV: 62.4% - Outturn: 239 bottles 

Nose: Enticing sweetness upfront. Trademarks of a decent bourbon barrel: vanilla cream, French toast, butter scotch, nama caramel, eggnog and banana milk. Oak. The rich sweetness continues to prevail along with time adding white chocolate, butter menthols, and lovely bakery pastries (both sweet & savory). This Chichibu really dominates - truly complex. With time light cologne aromas, musk candy, wafer biscuits and then, out of the blue a dusty lumber shed. Water for the main part initially ramps up the heavy sweetness (rocky road chocolate – marshmallow, jelly, coconut, and nuts) however, water gradually tones down the sweetness creating an interesting savory note (Saladas - saltine crackers) and summer fruit components (honey dew, cantaloupe, and then some lychee). Lurking - flat creaming soda, chamomile tea, and some freshly cut rich flower stems. Again, very complex.

Taste: Creamy vanilla. Spiced nuts (mainly walnuts and peanuts) and wood spice. Bitter chocolate wafers. Minerals. There's an interesting spicy butter corn concept also in play that is quite nice. Mildly spiced honey. New leather. Cinnamon. Lychee. Green olive pips. Whole wheat and/or a yeast. Only with water you really get to experience some of the sweetness as you do with nose, mostly in the form of cinnamon and brown sugar sprinkled over overripe banana. This, along with barley sugar and Salada crackers.

Finish: Quite long, all flavour profiles are concentrated at the back of the roof of your mouth. A touch of dark honey. Clotted cream. Yeast. Very faint hints of sarsaparilla. Becomes a little dry with water but in a welcoming way.

Comment: In my opinion and as a personal preference this is another truly superb single cask Chichibu. In a critical view some single casks can be not as satisfying but this cask offering is among the top end.  For the original release details see the WRU report here.

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