Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hakushu Themed Chocolates

The marriage of top quality single malt Japanese whisky with artisan made chocolate should not be overlooked. ROYCE’ chocolate confections have skillfully produced yet again another top quality “nama” chocolate using only the best ingredients that include Suntory’s 18-year-old Hakushu. “Nama” basically refers to “fresh”, recently made, and straight from the factory to you. This edition is part of their extensive portfolio, which also includes Yamazaki’s Sherry Wood fresh chocolatesThe divine white chocolate in my opinion is precisely balanced with the right amount of Hakushu and rich ingredients, which ROYCE’ is renowned for, making it a top quality chocolate.

The outstanding palate of Royce’s Hakushu fresh chocolates is apparently attributed to a high content of fresh cream made from locally drawn milk in Hokkaido, where the company is established. The fresh Hakushu themed chocolate is unfortunately seasonal and tends to be available in Japan around February in time for Valentine’s day, where in Japan, the general custom of this day is only for men to receive chocolates from admires. As mentioned in the Yamazaki Sherry Wood post, some could arguably say that mixing a perfectly good whisky such as the Hakushu 18-year-old with chocolate is a wrongdoing, I most likely would have said the same until this particular chocolate melted in my mouth on consumption and provided a whole new experience. There seems to be a lot going on with the fusion of whisky and chocolate, in particular Japanese whisky. 

ROYCE' International Outlets

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hakushu Sherry Cask

Chris and Nate over at The Whisky Wall have once again posted some very interesting information. This time around it is regarding the mouthwatering combination of Suntory’s Hakushu single malt matured in Sherry Casks. This limited release, no age statement, which was bottled this year is something I will certainly lookout for and hope to get my hands on. What a delight. Keep an eye out, as Whisky Wall has said they will be updating their post as they get more info.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ichiro's Malt Ten of Diamonds Celebration

It seems like yesterday when I decided to turn my personal experiences and passion for Japanese whisky into a readable format for everyone to experience. This entry marks a personal milestone as Whiskies R Us celebrates its hundredth post. In honor of this milestone, I would like to thank you and fellow bloggers for all the support and compliments. The journey has certainly been an adventure and I look forward to continuing this journey and sharing my experiences with all of you who share the enthusiasm. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone than to have a dram, the question was which dram, especially since it is a mark of celebration. While considering which dram to consume for the occasion I was lucky enough to obtain Ichiro’s malt Ten of Diamonds from the famed card series. So here we go….

Distilled: 1990 - Distillery: Hanyu - Bottled: 2011 - Released: 2012 - Age: 21 years-old - First cask type: hogshead - Second cask type: American oak puncheon - Cask number: 527 - Number of bottles: 585 - ABV: 54.9%

Nose: An assortment of fresh and dried fruits; figs, prunes, and strawberries. Vanilla marshmallows, caramel éclairs, and mixed Vietnamese fruit chips: dragon fruit, jackfruit, yams, and pineapple. Amongst the array of sweetness an unusual distant background note kept lurking; latter on in the dram I associated this with prosciutto.

Taste: Smooth and silky yet light. Flamed grilled egg plant, a hint of mint, pineapple chips, and a measure of fennel and subtle spice.

Finish: In my opinion extremely short, but certainly pleasant. Initially there is a layer of clean spice with delayed waves of mint tea and pineapple juice which creep in.

Comment: Although initially the malt did not display any characteristics of smoke, once consumed and the empty glass sat for 5 minutes it displayed aromas of fresh wood chips and cottages. I’d like to hope that this might suggest smoke may become present on the nose gradually through consumption. This expression, along with Ichiro's other new releases, was supplied to selected retail establishments in small quantities. 

Reviewed by Clint A

Image courtesy of Rakuten