Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yoichi 10yo Single Cask Cask Number # 407512 61%abv

Nose: Dusty wooden shipping pallets, rich earthy tones, sweet clay, sieved soil, dusty sheds with natural flooring (dirt), wood glue and tree sap. With water the malt becomes tamer and adds a bit of sweetness: meringues, Japanese ramune, and sweet balsamic vinegar. The dust is certainly still present: dusty wool. Very complex but the alcohol is relatively clean in my opinion considering the ABV.

Taste: Wow! Is this really a 10-year-old? Almonds and quite vegetal: thick and salty mushroom soup. The soil, again, has a heavy presence. A good splash of water reveals bitter chocolate and lot of oak.

Finish: Dry, medium to long. Tongue numbing. Earthy with a vegetal mouth feel with prolonged sweet spice on the addition of water.

Comment: Massive malt with massive alcohol. Certainly not a malt for the faint hearted. Extreme and complex in my opinion. Playing with water is fun, and obviously a must. An eye opening experience regardless and I’m looking forward to my next dram of this. This bottling is only available at the distillery, or alternatively you can call directly and organize delivery of their single expressions (within Japan only). Free dial: 0120-170389 (Japanese only).

Reviewed by Clint A 

Monday, April 23, 2012

White Oak Akashi Single Malt 5yo Original Bottling 1st Release 45%abv

Nose: Apricot nectar, a tinge of floral scents; dandelions. Smoke from burnt tyre rubber. Biscuit dough, yellow apple and crunchy nut corn flakes.

Taste: Light. Thyme, a hint of liquorice, sweet minimal waft of smoke, massive attack of ginger and small apple vinegar spice.

Finish: Short-medium. A finale of dried thyme, anise and sweet spice: ginger.

Comment: This tasting is from a recently opened bottle. I have tasted this on a few occasions, and I thought the 5-year-old to be adequate but average. Despite its age it has enough character to carry itself on a dedicated tasting.

Reviewed by Clint A

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ichiro's Malt Chichibu The Floor Malted

Distilled: 2009 - Bottled: 2012 - ABV: 50.5 percent - Age: 3 years old - Outturn: 8800

Nose: An array of sweet sensations: Werther’s original butterscotch, sticky date pudding, French toast, a hint of diluted mixed berry cordial, vanilla slice: pastry filled vanilla custard topped with white vanilla icing and sprinkled coconut, pumpkin seeds, and oats: light honey poured over porridge.

Taste: Mild. Japanese mugicha (roasted barley tea), spicy butterscotch, Summer Rolls: chocolate coconut bar with nougat. A drop of water adds sweet spice, bitter chocolate, and a presence of Arnott’s Yo-Yo biscuits.

Finish: Moderate, a pinch of cinnamon and bitter chocolate before ending with a light honey biscuit dough and slight vegetal note.

Comment: Most likely one of the sweetest malts, in terms of aroma, I have come across in a very long time. It is certainly hard to distinguish the ABV of 50.5 percent, as the malt is soft and mild, not bad for a three year-old. This expression, like all of Ichiro’s malts has yet again proved to be popular. As an example, the Umeda Hankyu department store had a total of nine bottles available in stock, which retailed at 8,500 yen. The whisky team at the Hankyu whisky corner has informed me the last bottle sold during the beginning of the week. For future reference, the guys at the Hankyu whisky corner are worth a visit when new bottlings are released, reason being, like they did with The Floor Malted, they give you the option of buying 100ml or 200ml decanters. In my opinion this is great, especially if times are not the best financially.

Reviewed by Clint A

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Torys Coke & Lemon Highball

In addition to the original Torys Extra canned dram, we’ve also seen the Ginger and Yuzu (winter limited edition) versions amongst Suntory’s continuing highball portfolio. Now, apparently for spring, a coke and lemon limited edition will become available throughout the nation from April 10. In a recent news release Suntory reports a major increase in sales due to the popularity of the drink, which today, seems the norm amongst patrons who frequent Izakaya’s and the like. My guess is, new flavours will continue to appear on the market in given time. The question is, what else in terms of flavour experimentation would work for a highball? In the past I predicted Ume (plum), but that just doesn’t sound right. 

Image obtained from the official news release.