Thursday, July 23, 2015

'The Chita' Release

The Suntory Spirits Company is set to release ‘The Chita’ nationwide from September 1, 2015. The forthcoming addition to Suntory’s portfolio is made by blending various aged grain whiskies that have been maturing at various length at their Chita grain distillery in Aichi prefecture. The vatting of 'The Chita' consists of at least 10 component grain whiskies that have been matured in a variety of cask types including American white oak (the bulk of the vatting), Spanish oak, and wine casks. According to the press release the 700ml bottling will retail at 3,800 yen (excluding tax – and depending on the retailer) and is bottled at 43%. 

The good news for fans of Japanese grain whisky alike is ‘The Chita’ is not a limited edition, there will be plenty of it available therefore, it is likely a standard and long running line-up of Suntory’s stable. The spirits giant appears to be marketing this product as another refreshing alternative for use in highballs and another perfect accompaniment to food, however, by the sounds of their in-house tasting notes that includes subtle flavours and delicate sweetness it sounds like a shame to mix it. Perhaps in coming time we can possibly expect to see another grain bottling released by Hakushu?

Check out Suntory's elaborate homepage of their new brand here

Image kindly taken from the official press release (in Japanese).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Super Nikka Genshu Pure Malt 55.5% Abv

The Super Nikka Genshu was released on the domestic market in 1995. In 2009, 14 years later, Nikka decided to take the product off the market. The first initial debuting bottle (round type) was released with a cork but apparently due to the stopper being insufficient it was replaced the following year with a plastic screw cap. This is a blended malt (vatted malt). The word: 'Genshu' can be roughly translated as 'straight from the cask' or 'non-diluted'. Another simple interpretation is natural cask strength. Two types of bottle designs were used for this expression, one being the square type that is used for Nikka from the barrel, the following bottle type is pictured above.

Nose: Another cask strength whisky with extreme subtleness – no roughness present here. Lovely creaminess in the form of mild cream Sherry and cheesecake. Oak. Retains that welcoming trademark bubble gum aroma followed by orange and mango fruit juice. Then interestingly Earl grey and hints of fennel tea. Maltesers confectionery (malt honeycomb centre, surrounded by milk chocolate) and whispers of subtle peat. Sugar coated nuts. With a little time in the glass lovely lemon basil emerges - too much time can lead to what resembles Imo (sweet potato) Sochu. Floral and candy lemon aromas develop with water along with sweet peat. 

Taste: More heat here. Chewy. Spicy marmalade, cinnamon gum, bitter red stone fruits. Subtle sherry influence. Maltesers. That tasty lemon basil is equally present on the palate with orange and grapefruit peel. Oak. Water changes path leading to sweet-bitterness - yellow/red capsicums. Peat more influential here than the nose but it is still mild.

Finish: Long with a prickly mouth feel. Some mild bitterness as with the taste, again, walnuts and beer nut skins, marmalade and grapefruit peel.Lemon basil and gum.

Comment: Great whisky with a surprisingly adequate nose. The nose can be busy and complex at certain times. Other times standard. Recommended to any die-hard Nikka fan who has yet to try it. Perhaps a little hard to find but not impossible.