Friday, January 23, 2015

Mars Komagatake Sherry & American White Oak 2011 Aged 3 Years

Outturn: 5200 bottles - Cask strength - 57% - Bottled: 2014

Nose: An abundance of sweet aromas projecting strawberries & cream (soft chewy flavoured jellies), toffee apple, pink marshmallows, coffee and vanilla essence, sultanas, guava, chocolate and toffee coated coffee beans (mainly on opening), and for good measure Cobbers lollies (chewy caramel coated in chocolate). This is lovely stuff, among the sweetness there is a cheeky tease of peat smoke – it is evidently there. A hint of sourness. With a dash of water mango puree, sweet buttered popcorn, and strawberry mouse become present. Brown creaming soda with time in the glass. Very busy for such a young whisky. 

Taste: Thick and mildly creamy. Nutty (beer nuts) with cinnamon banana slice, coffee beans, hints of port cigar leaf, and moderately spiced mocha. Ground allspice berries, and a sprinkle of pink pepper. Malty and woody. Water accentuates that  peat smoke, which in my opinion is much more evident on the palate. 

Finish: Long with spicy caramel popcorn, pepper and peat. This becomes a little dry and the nuttiness becomes evident when cut with water.

Comment: Cask combination works a treat on this 3yo. In my opinion another fine specimen of a very young Japanese whisky. I quite enjoyed this second release from the 'new era'.


  1. Hey Clint. It's Jason from Fukuoka again. I really enjoyed Mars Maltage 3plus25 and have become interested in Mars' other offerings. How would you say this Komagatake Sherry & White Oak 3yr compares with Komagatake 10yr - if you've ever tried it?

  2. Hi Jason, great to hear from you again. That Mars Maltage 3plus25 is certainly enjoyable - open bottles at bars are becoming scarce due to the award it took a short while back. As for the Komagatake 10yo, indeed, I've reviewed it...check out the side menu for my thoughts. Both equally good but hard to make a comparison for reasons being one is a cask strength 3yo single malt opposed to a 10yo pure malt bottled at 40%. Perhaps the best way for you to get a better understanding is to try both side by side. Again, both expressions, in my opinion, are equally outstanding. Let me know once you have tried the Komagatake Sherry & White Oak 3yo. Cheers.

  3. Ah, right! Sorry Clint, didn't read the right side of the page since I didn't scroll down far enough - yeah, I understand the cask strength vs the 40%. Just wondering which one you liked more. But after reading your review of the 10yo, I think I know which one you liked better ;) Thanks for the help! I'll try to head to Bar Kitchen soon and see if Oka-san has either or both in stock.

    1. The side menu is a bit tricky, I agree Jason, too many categories that I need to consider compressing. Yes, I guess it is safe to say that on a personal level I enjoyed the cask strength more so than the 10yo. But again it is personal preference, some may like the lower percentage of the 10yo. I'm pretty sure Oka-san will have both expressions, if not most bars in your area should have at least one or the other. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

  4. I had a few drams of this the other night. I thought it was fantastic.

    Hope you're doing well Clint, drinking whiskey just hasn't been the same since leaving Osaka.

    1. Hi Gary, great to hear from you. Perhaps we have a similar likeness to whiskies. I actually quite enjoyed this myself. Naturally young but retains some good qualities. I'm well thank you and likewise I hope you are well....Osaka has not been the same since you left :) Drop me a private message some time. Kind regards, Clint

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