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Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby ClubSmed » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:25 pm

Spirit of Islay wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:Hakushu 12 years old 43.5%

Comment: A very nice malt and would buy it if it way priced slightly less (currently £50+)



Matt it's £38 a bottle at Bowmore Distillery......if you happen to visit Islay......

I was there 2 weeks ago and managed to miss this somehow :evil:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:10 pm

ClubSmed wrote:I was there 2 weeks ago and managed to miss this somehow :evil:


Don't worry it happens to the best of us.....
Back in 2004 i wandered in and out of the Old Kiln for 3 days before i noticed the 1990 Ardbeg Japanese Release.......D'oh !
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:16 pm

C_I wrote:
Or you could try it here (Saves a trip to Islay and it is even slightly cheaper* ;) ):

http://www.singlemaltwhiskyshop.com

*when shipping is not included..


It's more fun going to Islay to buy it C_I :D
And there's something so good about going into there and coming out with Japanese whisky after being ignored the past 3 times we've been in.....
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:44 pm

Collector57 wrote:Nikka from the Barrel


This is unbelievable for the price. I would have taken this for a single malt.



Exactly how I felt when I first tried this and subsequently as well.
I'd like to see anyone pick this as blend in a blind tasting.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:46 pm

Excellent notes everyone, I really enjoyed reading them all. I have 5 samples at home that I've been longing to try, so I'll be getting to them this week for sure.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby whiskywall » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:48 pm

Nikka Yoichi 25y/o Single Cask #308798:


C:lustrous yellow

N:marshmallow, hints of smoked meat, butter, alcohol opens up through the nose.

P: malt, salt, light smoke, coconut?, lingering malt and slight medicinal notes

F: full, lingering numbness
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:59 pm

Thought I'd throw in some comments on some not so agreeable Japanese whiskys I've had. I don't normally write very detailed notes on these because they don't deserve them.

Nikka De Ta Blend: I like a little whisky with my sulphur.

Kirin-Seagram Robert Brown Deluxe Blend: Was cheap to buy, tastes the same.

Karuizawa Vintage Cask 1987 15 #2114 60.2%: Perfume, kero, some kind of cooked meat, burning rubber, tea.... and that's the good part

Mars Malt Gallery SC 1988 #0565-107 Sherry Butt 58%: Pour some Old Spice Cologne or similar into a whisky glass then drink it. Same effect.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby lockejn » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:56 am

Just enjoying my first dram of Yamazaki 18. My first impression on the nose was rum and cola. It opened a little on vanilla, molasses, and caramel apples. Tastes rich, warm, malty, dry, spicy. There's a lot of raw sugar essence here, but it seems closed, reluctant - a bit of an enigma.

4/5
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:18 am

Nikka Single Coffey Grain Whisky 55%

Nose: Sweet overall, oak, fruit cake, Smoke and sweet spice

Palate: Again sweet spice, oak, vanilla, dried fruit and smoke

Finish: Silky and long, has some rum like qualities(mollasses), licorice, oak and smoke.


Quite Nice

85/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:30 am

Miyagyiko 12 45%

Nose: Oakey, malty, custard, smoke and ripened bananas

Palate: Fruity, oak, strawberry's and cream, gentle smoke

Finish: Warm and spicy, late lingering smoke.

Quite complex and would be easy to under estimate.

86/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:53 am

Yoichi Key Malt Peaty and Salty 55%

Nose: Salt(funnily enough) peat(mmmm), oak, peaches, bran, brine

Palate: Sweet and vegetal peat, sweet and bitter combo of vanilla and citrus, malt, sea spray.

Finish: Is of medium length, with a kind of citric peat, smoke, spice and cream.

87/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:46 am

Suntory Pure Malt "ZEN" 40%

Nose: Gentle and fairly closed. Notes of pear, oregano, varnish or paint thinner, eucalyptus and salt and pepper.

Palate: Is smooth and soft, mainly malt and cream. Some nutmeg and pepper spice.

Finish: Is short, simple a bit dry/dusty then some mineral like qualities and bamboo shoots.

This is an uncomplicated malt, smooth, easy to drink, but lacks complexity.

75/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby hyperfuji » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:18 am

suntory hakushu 1989

n: sherry, nutty, rich dark fruit maybe very ripe cherries and plum

p: nice body with smokey sweetness, exotic woods, sherry

f: lingering plum wine

this one is good, very good
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby hyperfuji » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:12 am

Spirit of Islay wrote:I do like the Screw tops on the Suntory bottles !


just opened my first suntory... the screw top feels very weird
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:43 am

Togouchi Aged 18 Years 43%


This is made by a company called Chugoku Jozo, mainly known for the production of sake and shochu. It is apparently matured in abandoned railway tunnels in the Japanese Alps. This is the only whisky they produce and is a blend.

Nose: Is soft and fruity mainly peach and pear. Some cereal notes of oats and bran, also varnish, white pepper and baked carrots. After about 10 minutes some oak comes into the picture.

Palate: Very clean malt, some white pepper, bran, cream, marzipan, sweet baked carrot, sweet corn.

Finish: Medium length, medium spice, and basically follows the palate. Leaves a feeling of white pepper covered bran on the palate.

Overall this is a very pleasant whisky and a first class effort for a company that only produces one whisky. Like a number of Japanese blends I've had, this doesn't come across as one(a blend).

84-85/100

Note: after about 20 minutes the nose produces a nice hit of malt.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:18 am

Here goes my very first Japanese whisky ever. It's a Karuizawa 1992 62.8% cask 6978.

Nose: (neat) sweet alcohol, flowers, fresh fruit (apples?), it's quiet malty. Very soft at this alcohol %. It makes me think of a very full bodied Speysider. (with water) After a few minutes it becomes amazing! I pick up diesel (yes, I do), seaweed, and some peat. I almost don't dare say it but it reminds me of a light version of the Laph 30 (!!!).

Palate: (neat) very hot on the tongue! The high alcohol percentage camouflages a lot of flavours. Yet I can pick some peat and some smoke. It's still somewhat sweet with some flowery notes. (with water) Much better! This becomes very complex. Walnuts, some tar. It's strange, but there is something and I just can't put my finger on it. Oh boy, it sticks to my cheeks!

Finish: hot (!!), peppery, a bit sweetish, walnuts and just a faint wiff of smoke.

Comments: this is SO different from the Scoth single malts whiskies I'm used to. It's a very peculiar whisky with a fantastic nose. A very good and complex whisky, mind you, but there is something 'mysterious' about it.

If I would have to score it, I would certainly give it minimum 90/100. With some oxidation I might pick up more flavours so the score might also change. I'll let you know.

P.S.: a big THANK YOU to dramtastic for the wonderfull advice!! I look forward to try the Cask of the Yamazaki 1993.
Last edited by johan brugge on Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:37 am

Nice notes Johan. DT has been corrupting us all when it comes to Japanese whiskies.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:03 am

pkt77242 wrote:Nice notes Johan. DT has been corrupting us all when it comes to Japanese whiskies.

Thanks Sean. I have to admit it took my several months before I bought my first Japanese whiskies, thanks to DT. I will certainly try some more Japanese whiskies. Now I pick up some more tannine. This is great stuff!
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ras Mazunga » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:48 am

A pleasure reading your notes guys.

Yamazaki 12 43%
n: sweet vanilla, lots of bourbon barrel, cocoos, beeswax, round, some rum, apples, quiet some oak.
t:orange/grape juice with oak. not as complex as the smell
f: mint with lemon,
c: the smell is the best, very complex I think. after that it all goes down a little. very recommendable. this was my first japanese whisky
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ras Mazunga » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:25 am

Next is Hibiki 12 43%. In the folder accompanied by the bottle there is that this is a variety of malt and grain whiskies first matured in white oak casks later in plum liqueur casks. This whisky is bamboo charcoal filtered.

I was so stupid to eat some spicy salami, writing notes is nto really possible anymore now. :evil:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:44 pm

Cask of the Yamazaki 1993 Heavily Peated at 62% vol.
Cask nr. 3Q70048
Wood type: white oak
Distilled: May 1993
Bottled: June 2008

Nose: lots of peat straight away, even when opening the bottle I could smell it immediately. Some licorice, wet moss and a little bit of salt. With a little water is all much more nuanced. Somewhat sweeter and maritiemer too. Delicious!

Taste: again a lot of peat. It really lives up to it's name "Heavily Peated". It is remarkable that when consumed pure at 62% it remains perfectly drinkable. The balance is just perfect. With water you can taste so much more. Less pronounced peat. There is a flavour that I notice and that I had never tasted before. Some calls it lychees, but I don't know. My son really likes lychees so I recognize the taste and smell. It is fruity, though. And delicious! It is an oily whiskey (even with water) that lays a film on your palate.

Finish: peat, pepper (except for addition of water). Again some liquorice. With water everything remains much longer.

Comment: If you didn't know that it's a Japanese whisky, you'd never guess. Really. The tears of the whiskey run down in very thin lines. IF they get down all. They seem to stick for an eternity to your glass.

Score: a big fat 92/100!
Again a big THANK YOU to DT for the good advice!
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby hyperfuji » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:55 am

pkt77242 wrote:Yamazaki 12

N: Ginger, gingerbread cookies, and banana. very malty. Hints of vanilla.
P: Vanilla, and malt. gingerbread cookies and banana bread. slight salt.
F: medium short on malt and vanilla. hints of ginger as well.

A nice whisky, not super complex but enjoyable.


i've tried the yama 12 twice since my purchase. i still dont get banana
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:17 am

Mars Moltage Komagatake SM Sherry Cask 10YO 40%

Nose: Honey, sherry, blood oranges, lime, a little bit of oak, a kind of burnt toffee smell, and something maritime like seaweed.

Palate: Is biscuity, with some bitter chocolate, nuts, malt, toffee and smoke.

Finish: Mainly toffee, nuts, smoke and some lingering bitterness.

I have to admit that on first opening I didn't take much of a liking to this whisky and probably would have given it a score of around 73/100.
It's been open for around 7 months now and while never going to be a world beater it has improved quite a bit and scores 79/100. The smokeyness really saves it for me.

Actually if you like HP12 especially when it was had more smoke, you'd probably quite like this.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:36 am

hyperfuji wrote:just opened my first suntory... the screw top feels very weird

I agree. It's like opening a cheap blend only it's a single malt of excellent quality in my case.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:03 am

When you've screwed and unscrewed enough high quality Japanese screw tops, IMO it's corks that can start to feel a bit cheap(and that includes Japanese corks).
I have a lot of faith that the integrity of the whisky inside Japanese bottles that have screw tops will be of a high order for a long time.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:41 am

dramtastic wrote:and that includes Japanese corks

I believe that's true for the Karuizawa 1992! I have a plastic cork in a Bowmore, which I really hate. But that's another topic.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:40 am

Time for me to taste some Japanese whisky. :smoke:

Yamazaki 12yo 43%

Color: Pale gold

Nose: Some fruits (lemons), slightly floral with vanilla sweetness

Palate: Light and smooth, more fruits (citrus mostly), with a hint of spice

Finish: The finish is dry and woody (mostly oak).

Comment: Nice dram, many thanks to Ras for this sample! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:02 am

Nikka Black 43%

Color: Bright gold

Nose: Bourbon like vanilla sweetness, some citrus fruits

Palate: Smooth and sweet, more vanilla, slightly sour with notes of grain and cereal.

Finish: The finish starts bitter, then becomes sweet.

Comment: Many thanks again to Ras for this sample! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:09 am

Nikka from the Barrel 51.4%

Color: Light amber

Nose: Dry like vanilla sweetness, mix of dark fruits with a nice range of spices.

Palate: Starts smooth, very bourbon like. More dark fruits and spices, very peppery as well. Some sweet candied apples towards the very end.

Finish: The finish is long, very spicy with some sweetness at the end.

Comment: This is an excellent dram! I can't believe it's a blend. :shock:
Many thanks to Ras for this sample! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby pkt77242 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:39 am

Ry, nice notes so far. Nikka from the Barrel looks like it needs to be on my buy list. :iwbrnt:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:54 am

Ichiro's Choice Single Grain Whisky 1981 62.4%

Nose: Smooth for such a high abv, earthy, notes of chocolate, licorice orange and asphalt.

Palate: Again pretty smooth with soft grain, molassis, licorice, pepper and orange.

Finish: Medium length, soft oak, orange, licorice with a mix of some classic rum and bourbon like qualities.

A good if not outstanding grain whisky. Lacks the wow factor.

82/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:38 am

Karuizawa Vintage 1992/2007, 62.8%, Cask # 6978

Color: Dark gold

Nose: Big sherry with lots of dark sweet fruits.

Palate: Starts sweet then gets really powerful with a mix of raisins, dark berries/cooked apples. Very full mouthfeel and well balanced.

Finish: The finish is long, spicy yet sweet.

Comment: Wow, what a great whisky!! Thank you to Ras for this sample! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:50 am

Karuizawa Vintage 1985/2009, 60.8%, Sherry Cask # 7017

Color: Dark amber

Nose: Big sherry, drying (even on the nose), a touch of sulphur (but in a good way), hint of sweet blackberry.

Palate: Starts sweet and very dry, bits of raisins and dark berries, with some burnt rubber notes (not overpowering though).

Finish: The finish is very dry, long, spicy and sweet at the same time with a hint of smoke.

Comment: I like it! Many thanks to Sean for this sample!! :D :D
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby pkt77242 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:19 am

Ryguy wrote:Karuizawa Vintage 1985/2009, 60.8%, Sherry Cask # 7017

Color: Dark amber

Nose: Big sherry, drying (even on the nose), a touch of sulphur (but in a good way), hint of sweet blackberry.

Palate: Starts sweet and very dry, bits of raisins and dark berries, with some burnt rubber notes (not overpowering though).

Finish: The finish is very dry, long, spicy and sweet at the same time with a hint of smoke.

Comment: I like it! Many thanks to Sean for this sample!! :D :D



You are welcome Ryan, glad you enjoyed it.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby AshDLS » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:39 pm

I think this may be my first ever attempt at a tasting note...! By no means do I consider my nose or palate sensitive nor well-experienced so I've admittedly been a little hesitant to share my thoughts. But here goes! Received this bottle as a gift from a bartender-friend in Japan.

Mars "The Malt Of Kagoshima" 1984, 25yo, 46%, in sherry cask.

Colour: straight gold, but still lighter than I would've imagined.

Nose: there's something very unusual about this I'm having trouble picking out, but otherwise, on one occasion I had a rubbery/gummy sensation, another time there was definitely citrus there, grassy and oily on another.

Palate: Medium body, quickly turns spicy. Not an enormous amount of sherry, surprisingly. Dry and biting.

Finish: Not terribly assertive, but something burnt and slightly sweet seems to pop its head up every so often.

Interestingly it's a 720mL bottle... my friend explained that it's the equivalent of four gō - one gō being 180mL, the same volume as those small wooden boxes from which sake is drunk (and by which rice was measured, back in the day). Ten gō equals one shō, or 1.8L, the same volume as those enormous bottles of sake you often see at Japanese restaurants.
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