Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ichiro's Malt Chichibu Chibidaru 2014 Release

Distilled: 2010 - Bottled: 2014 - Outturn: 6200 bottles - ABV: 53.3%

Nose: On the very first dram a small alcohol bite is present but dwindles from there on to reveal, in every other following glass, moderate sweetness - butterscotch (a consistency in the 2013 release and Shinanoya’s private cask), Scolten cookies, and sugar coated Weet-Bix in warm milk, banana custard, and caramel sauce. Over a short time there is that lovely presence of eggnog and tropical fruits. A sweet and sour combo emerges from here (sweet and sour pork sauce). Then, moving on from this side other aromas such as flowery hops, oak, and an intertwining mixture of malt, grist, chaff, and an oat (perhaps getting back to Weet-Bix) element enter the game. Walnuts and grapefruit peel present a hint of bitterness. Then, things completely shift resembling a good Mescal and a touch of lemon lozenges’.

Taste: Initially a big burst of prickly wood spice and a combination of cardamom and endless nutmeg. There's a lovely touch of peppermint that caresses your tongue. Some mellow bitterness - walnuts and grapefruit peel. Lingering oak. Vegetal. Quite woody and thick with roasted flavours - tea leaves? Water lures the sweetness to the game but not as moderate compared to the nose.

Finish: Moderate to long while retaining most of the characteristics from the palate - wood spice, oak, nutmeg and a slight bitter note on the last leg. Again, a touch of roasted tea leaves.

Comment: Interestingly this works well paired with Kamoboko dipped in soy-sauce and freshly grated ginger. 


  1. Thanks for the nice review, Clint. I usually hesitate a bit before I buy one of these Chibidaru bottlings as they tend to be rather woody on the palate. With this bottling the wood spice seems not that much prominent, which is a good thing. Does this get any close to the 'famed' Shinanoya bottling?

  2. Hi Pierre, nice to hear from you. It is very hard to compare both official releases of the Chibidaru to Shinanoya's private cask. The anniversary bottling being a single cask puts it in a league of its own. The aromas and flavours are much more distinguishable in my opinion. Having said that the official bottles work well.

  3. Hi Clint,
    How much would expect this bottle to retail for in japan?