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Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

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

Postby Ryguy » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:48 pm

AshDLS, excellent tasting note! Well done! There is no right or wrong with tasting notes, everyone has a different nose/palate, so notes can vary quite a bit. Thanks again for sharing, sounds like a very interesting bottle there!

I look forward to more contributions from you in the future, feel free to join us for the upcoming Live Tastings. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:53 pm

That was great Ash, both tasting notes and history. Now that youv'e got that out of the way, how about the Hibiki 17, Yoichi 15 or whatever else you might have! :iwbrnt:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ras Mazunga » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:10 pm

Collector57 wrote:
pkt77242 wrote:Ry, nice notes so far. Nikka from the Barrel looks like it needs to be on my buy list. :iwbrnt:

It's excellent and very good value, over here


22,95 Euro is incredible imo:
http://whiskyvanzuylen.nl/index.php?pag ... an&id=1806
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ras Mazunga » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:34 pm

Compliment for the note AshDlS.

You've had those on the shelf for some time Ryan. I enjoy reading the notes.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:49 pm

I hope it is not considered to be too rude to post late to a live tasting thread but I just couldn't make it earlier.

Yoichi 12

The nose is today relatively mild and gives me light sherry and just a hint of peat. I'm a bit surprised as I typically get the 'temples' and/or antique wooden furniture, but not today. Must be something with my nose.

The mouthfeel is robust with a notable pepperiness perfectly matching the sweet sherry. Mild peat comes through in the aftertaste. The malt is sweet, there is a salty element too. Very very enjoyable. It feels lively yet refined. I'd imagine that if Talisker would release a really good <15yo sherried dram, it would taste somewhat like this.

After a couple sips more, the peat feels stronger in the aftertaste. This is exactly the way I like my peat these days :thumbsup:

Out of the basic Yoichi bottlings, this is probably my favourite. It's surprisingly different from the 10yo where the dominant cask type seems to be bourbon, and the 15yo which is milder and more refined. Unfortunately I haven't got the 10yo or 15yo handy for a head-to-head.

Next up, a single cask peated 1986 Miyagikyo.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby Ryguy » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:52 pm

Excellent note smn! It's never too late, in fact, the more notes the merrier! Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:06 pm

Miyagikyo 1986/2008, cask #80283, 63%

Nosed neat, all I get is alcohol, peat and a hunch of sweet malt. The attack in the mouth is massive, sweet & peat with a peppery alcohol burn. The relative lack of oakiness is notable for the age. Needs water. A full teaspoon for the 2cl should be fine.

Now the nose shows some oak too. The sugary maltiness is strong but so is the peatiness. This turned out rather nice.

The mouthfeel if still a bit burning & peppery but much more enjoyable than neat. Miyagikyos malt profile is lighter and more Speysidy than Yoichis. There is also a certain 'marshmallow/marzipan' type of waxy sweetness that I can't really put to words properly. This is the second Miyagikyo I've tasted and both have shared this characteristic.

The peat is heavy. It's not exactly Islayish peat, no iodine ere, actually nothing resembling sea either. I would imagine a heavily peated Cragganmore could taste a bit like this.

I quite like it although these days I'm no longer really after the heavy peatings. I think this dram a bit simple with the peat & sweetness running the show. The best element here for me is the peppery aftertaste.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:09 pm

Ryguy wrote:Excellent note smn! It's never too late, in fact, the more notes the merrier! Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Thank you and my pleasure!

Gonna do a Yoichi SC next.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:32 pm

Yoichi 1991/2007 cask #129493, 62%

Undiluted, the nose is a combination of the oriental wood smell so typical for Japanese whisky and delicate sweet sherry. The sherry influence is not heavy. No coffee, no citrus, no chocolate in this one. More like cherries or something. Obviously a lot of alcohol but for some reason it doesn't bother that much. It's a really nice nose, I could go on sniffing this forever. The lack of peat is noticeable, this is a lightly peated Yoichis.

The mouthfeel and taste are excellent. Perfectly sippable without diluting. The 2 years this bottle has been open must have mellowed it a bit, although it has always been easy. The Yoichi malt is robust, the flavour on this one is really strong. I get similar sherry than in the nose, the distinct malt, some apparently oak-related spiciness and some peat. The balance and depth are just perfect here, there is a massive burst of flavour without any element really dominating. The sherry in the aftertaste is long, sweet and delicate.

As with the Miyagikyo, water brings out some oak in the nose. The flavour opens up a bit and develops a light orange-like taste. The taste develops interestingly into two separate shows, the lightly dancing fruity sherriness and a heavy, slightly distant undercurrent.

As you can probably tell, I really really enjoy this. Top dram :thumbsup:

Got to quit for tonight, but I still have 3 more SC Yoichis and Yamazaki 18 to continue with, hopefully tomorrow..
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:13 pm

Excellent contributions smn

I look forward to your other reviews
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby johan brugge » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:38 pm

smn wrote:I hope it is not considered to be too rude to post late to a live tasting thread but I just couldn't make it earlier.

Yoichi 12

The nose is today relatively mild and gives me light sherry and just a hint of peat. I'm a bit surprised as I typically get the 'temples' and/or antique wooden furniture, but not today. Must be something with my nose.

The mouthfeel is robust with a notable pepperiness perfectly matching the sweet sherry. Mild peat comes through in the aftertaste. The malt is sweet, there is a salty element too. Very very enjoyable. It feels lively yet refined. I'd imagine that if Talisker would release a really good <15yo sherried dram, it would taste somewhat like this.

After a couple sips more, the peat feels stronger in the aftertaste. This is exactly the way I like my peat these days :thumbsup:

Out of the basic Yoichi bottlings, this is probably my favourite. It's surprisingly different from the 10yo where the dominant cask type seems to be bourbon, and the 15yo which is milder and more refined. Unfortunately I haven't got the 10yo or 15yo handy for a head-to-head.

Next up, a single cask peated 1986 Miyagikyo.

You make we wanna buy a Yoichi 12yo, smn!!
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:21 pm

Thanks everyone!

@Johan, go ahead, you won't regret it!

Yamazaki 18

Same effect as yesterday with the Yoichi 12, I don't seem to catch much on the nose. There is a fruity sweetness to it with something slightly acidic and a medium oak presence. On the mouth it starts syrupy sweet then develops quickly to a fruit / oak combination where the sweetness disappears. There is that certain type of oak-related acidic spiciness to it. Well balanced and delicious.

On the third sip this has developed into a rather oaky but lively show. No signs of tiredness and no oaky flavours that I would consider bad (cucumber, dry planks etc). There seems to be slight saltiness that I haven't really noticed before. The fruitiness is now more in the background. The aftertaste is of medium length and oaky.

I reckon there must be some sherry casks in this but the profile and strength of the oak is not from typical sherry. Maybe some new oak or even mizunara in the mix? Does anyone know the type of casks used?

Anyway, a good and interesting dram.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:42 pm

Yoichi 1986/2008, cask #112112 59%

The nose gives curiously some leather, malt and a hint of peat. Must be the strong oak from the Yamazaki still in my mouth. There is also quite some oak present but in a much more subtle way. Vanilla.

When tasting the peat hits hard immediately. It's a rather clean peat profile with a peppery twist to it. Some malt and vanilla. Surprisingly dry with subtle oak.

With water the nose gives immediately way more peat than before. The vanilla gets stronger too. There is some cherries in the nose too. Very curious and it took me a long time to find the right words for it.

The mouth is now excellent! Strong peppery peat hits initially, then vanilla/cherry sweetness and the aftertaste dries away with a combination of all three elements. Noticeably sweeter than without the water.

Well, this certainly was curious and rewarding tonight! I'll leave some in the glass to breathe so I can get back to it after the other Yoichis.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:01 pm

Yoichi 1991/2009 cask #129374 58%

Getting lots of spicy oak and sweet malt with a slight fruity/berry twist on the nose initially. Nothing too much happening at least undiluted. The taste is immediately extremely sweet with a profile of some exotic syrup with oaky acidic spiciness a bit similar to the Yamazaki tingling on the sides of my tongue. A strong flavour profile with lots of different oaky flavours and sweetness. Quite pleasant at full strength! In fact I don't really want to put water in this, it's very interesting and very good this way!

However the nose might benefit from water so here we go ...

The nose doesn't really change, the only new thing I'm getting is a whiff of drier oak, a bit sawdusty, along with the sweet spicy and acidic oakiness. The taste has, if possible, still improved. A very interesting no-peat oak experiment, I've heard this is from new wood?
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:22 pm

Yoichi 1989/2005, cask #127032 62%

This starts to be too strong to really get much out of the nose undiluted. There is oak, some liqourice candy, menthol, more oak. The taste needs also some water, the alcohol seems to be too strong to really get what's going on here but there certainly is a lot of flavour along with the alcohol burn. Time to add water.

Curiously this seems to hold quite a similar profile to cask 129374, just even more sweet and flavourful. Also there seems to be a hint of peat now. Not strong like with the 1986 but definitely noticeable. The taste gets a severe wow factor now! There is a real explosion of flavour, oak, oak and oak (and some peat). A firework of different kinds of oak flavours. There is sweet oak, dry oak, peaty oak, acidic oak .. You get the point. This is a massive whisky with an extremely lively and dominant oakiness but the robust malt holds it together superbly and the slight peatiness balances it really well.

This is my favourite of the night and probably one of my top 3 malts ever :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:29 pm

Ryguy wrote: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:


This seems to get a lot of praise in this thread. I remember tasting it ages ago during an improvised tasting in a pub and I don't think anybody realised it was a blend, it was one of the favourites that night. I definitely have to get a bottle!
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:51 pm

smn wrote:

I reckon there must be some sherry casks in this but the profile and strength of the oak is not from typical sherry. Maybe some new oak or even mizunara in the mix? Does anyone know the type of casks used?



Here is the definitive answer to that question smn

http://www.suntory.com/yamazaki/12and18year.html
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:54 pm

I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Japanese Live Tasting. :thumbsup:

Over 50 tasting notes, 102 posts and more than 1200 views so far! I doubt if this has been done before on this subject in such a short period of time and it has added a wealth of information to the overall body of knowledge about Japanese whisky.

I've loved every minute of it!

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

Postby johan brugge » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:45 am

dramtastic wrote:I've loved every minute of it!

DT

So did I DT. It's sort of a library to me with tons of information on Japanese whisky. You write excellent note smn! :thumbsup:
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:29 am

Nikka Pure Malt White 43%

I thought someone else was tasting this one but it didn't eventuate. As it's not difficult to buy from specialy stores in Europe and the UK and it's cheap, I feel it's a worthwhile addition especially for punters looking for quality Japanese at reasonable prices.

This whisky is a vatting of Yoichi and an Islay whisky(origin unknown by me at this time.)

Nose: There is a good whiff of peat as well as walnuts, wet moss, leather, seaspray, pepper, wood stain(after breathing for a while) and nectarines. After some time there is a hint of lemon.

Palate: Nicely oily(nut oil), the peat comes through big time, charcoal, pepper and an ever so slight bitterness. The second sip adds walnuts, creamy macadamia and a kind of minted toffee to the picture.

Finish: Medium length with peat dominating, macadamia, spice and mint. Slightly drying.

This is ever so moreish. I don't think to many people would be disappointed by this, especially for the price.

89/100
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:41 pm

Two more .. :)

Karuizawa 1982/2009 cask #2748 56.1%(TWE 10th)

On first nosing, I get a combination of thick, luxurious oloroso sherry and oak. The taste starts with powerful sherry, which quickly gets a very peppery character and turns dry, I get a very strong salmiak powder taste. The soft, rounded and sweet sherry and the harsh pepper makes an interesting and well-working combination. Although I mentioned a very similar description for the Yoichi 12, this is still quite different. No saltiness, the oak is very much present although doesn't lead the show here. The profile in general is 'less exotic', more 'scottish'.

Water definitely opens it up, the peppery attack in the taste becomes much more powerful. The nose gets less sweet but doesn't change much otherwise.

This is both interesting and delicious. Too bad I only have a sample. TWE still seems to have some, tempting..
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby smn » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:15 pm

Karuizawa 1967/2009, cask #6426 58.4%

I noticed this has gotten into silly prices recently, so I have to crack it open before the resale values get too tempting. Now we'll see if it's really worth all the hype!

Nice wax seal for the cork, not too fancy but still gives a bit of a 'special' feel.

Ok even neat the nose is very nice. I get a heavily oaked sherry profile, surprisingly similar to the ancient G&M Strathislas actually.

Nosing further, some menthol and pine needles/tar. The sherry is present but not as sweet & round as with the 1982, the age definitely shows but not at all overdone. I actually get a light whiff of peat, too. So far so good..

Wow!

It's complex. The mouthfeel starts soft with a delicate sherry taste, loads of depth, oaky acidic bitterness on the sides of my tongue. There is a sweetness reminiscent of something toasted. And lots of everything else, I didn't get nearly all that was going on and that can only be good. I think several more sips are needed in order to get to know this one!

There is definitely something coffee-like and chocolate. There is a whiff of mentholy oak. The aftertaste is long with a sweet maltiness coating my tongue, sherry and oak now in the sidelines. I don't get anything like the wild pepperiness of the 'youngster', this is a very flavourful but gentle old timer.

The sherry is now stronger on the nose. Got to add some water while the dram lasts.

As with the 1982, the nose gets less sweet and more oaky with water. I get red berries-like acidic aromas now. The remaining sweetness is more malty than sherried now, interesting effect. The oak is dry and mentholy.

The mouthfeel is soft and luxurious and quite brilliantly balanced by the malt and acidic oakiness with the sherry still doing its thing on the tip of the tongue.

The aftertaste seems to go on and on and on. I get slight peaty whiffs now that the taste is slowly fading in my mouth.

Ok, on my first try this definitely feels like being worth the hype. It's of very very respectable age, absolutely delicious, massive depth and real complexity. It's not the least tired, quite playful actually.

The level of sherry-oak interplay and balance reminds me very much of the 40yo G&M Strathisla I have, yet this has so much more into it.

I'm gonna quite now before I start to sound silly.
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Re: Japanese Whisky Live Tasting - April 10-24th

Postby dramtastic » Fri May 07, 2010 7:05 am

Mars The Malt of Kagoshima 1984 25YO Sherry Cask #0578/3081 46%

Colour: Gold. I don't often mention colour but this doesn't look like a sherry cask matured whisky.

Nose: Sherry and toffee at first, then changes to an almost bourbonesque grain like quality. Licorice, pears, red apples, pencil shavings, cinammon doughnuts, yeast, match heads and dry cement mix.

Palate: First touches the palate with a certain lightness then a big explosion of peppery spices. Again match heads, but balanced and without being overly sulphurous. Second sip and the sherry comes through with tons of mixed peel zing. Third sip offers some lemon and mint. Fourth sip and I notice there is a nice saltyness sizzling on the tip of the tongue.

Finish: Is a little dry, fairly short at first with burnt toffee, match heads, mint chocolate, cinammon and pipe tobacco. After a few sips there is a nutty creamyness that floats around the palate and becomes medium length.

Always harder for me to justify a score from a single sample, but for the sake of this exercise, here it is.

87/100



A huge thanks to AshDLS for the sample of this very rare Japanese whisky. I know where I can buy a bottle and if funds permit and it's still available, I'll buy it.
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