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Japanese Single Malt Whisky

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Japanese Single Malt Whisky

Postby rymon » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:14 pm

I'm wondering what you've tried?
For my tasting notes on Yoichi 12yo and Hakushu 12yo see page 7 of the "Tales from the Tasting Tower" post.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:07 pm

I've have Nikka Black which is very interesting scotch like malt and enjoyable but for some reason I found that the flavour seemed to lessen over a number of months. In saying that it did not lessen to such an extent that I disliked.

I've also have Hibiki 17yo which is a cracking whiskey but I think it might be technically a blend.

I've had another which I cannot remember the name of and it was very good too. Japanesse whiskies are in general very good, high quality and closely follow the traits of scotch whiskey.
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:22 pm

Japanese whisky is so expensive in the States. I have only seen it in stores a few times and it was $200 dollars a bottle. Unless the price comes down I don't think I will ever try it.
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Postby MGillespie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:07 am

Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark
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Virginia

Postby rymon » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:40 am

Virginia Gentleman, I should try to hook you up with a flight attendant pal I have who lives in Roanoke. If he lives anywhere near you, he might be able to pick you up a bottle since he flies to Japan on occasion, I think. Optionally he could pick something up in another state or overseas, since he's always up in the air.
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Postby Badmonkey » Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:59 am

You are correct, Irishwhiskeychaser, Hibiki 17 is a blend, and a damn fine one at that, especially if you get the n.c.f. edition.

I am a big fan of Japanese whisky, even though I can't buy it in Alberta. Some of the best whiskies I have ever sampled were Japanese. Yoichi is consistently my favourite, though my favourites were SMWS bottlings. Off of the top of my head, here are the one's I've tried:

Yoichi 10
Yoichi 12
Yoichi 15
(Yoichi) SMWS Cask 116.1
(Yoichi) SMWS Cask 116.3
Yamazaki 12
Yamazaki 18
Yamazaki Vintage 1982
Yamazaki Vintage 1984
Yamazaki Vintage 1991
Yamazaki Vintage 1994
(Yamazaki) SMWS Cask 119.4 (10 yrs)

Hokuto
Hakushu 10
Hakushu 12

Tsuru (probably a blend, come to think of it)
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:10 pm

MGillespie wrote:Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark


I have only seen it in Washington, DC. Virginia stores do not carry it. The next time I am in Jersey I will pick up a bottle.
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Re: Virginia

Postby Virginia Gentleman » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:13 pm

rymon wrote:Virginia Gentleman, I should try to hook you up with a flight attendant pal I have who lives in Roanoke. If he lives anywhere near you, he might be able to pick you up a bottle since he flies to Japan on occasion, I think. Optionally he could pick something up in another state or overseas, since he's always up in the air.


Thanks for the offer but I live in Northern Virginia just outside of DC. Roanoke is five hours from me.
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Postby yyzron » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:45 pm

My wife surprised me with a bottle of 12yr Yoichi for Christmas.

I really enjoyed it. Most noticably, I felt it has a very subtle sake like sweetness about it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:56 am

"yyzron", eh? Let me guess--yet another Tronnan. I'm starting to understand how the ROC feels! :P

Well, come on in and make yourself at home, in any case--all who love whisky are welcome here, even more Tronnans. And if my surmise is off base, then never mind! 8)
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Postby patrick dicaprio » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:36 pm

i just finished a bottle of Suntory Yamazaki 12 and i loved it. not a true classic but very very nice and drinkable. the 25 yo i tried at whiskyfest and it basically tasted like rum to me.

Pat
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Postby Alec » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:26 pm

Hey BadMonkey, have you tried the SMWS 116.6? This is the only Yoichi I have tried, and I have heard great things about it and Japanese whiskies in general, but I was very disappointed with the 116.6. Twas much better with water, but very one dimensional without.
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Yoichi 12

Postby rymon » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:35 pm

We sample the Yoichi 12 carried by LCBO in Canada... it was excellent. Out of 6 tasters we all commented that NO water should be added. In fact the water made it very one dimensional. Just a few drops and it really faded...

I really don't know which bottling it was... I don't have the bottle here. It wasn't SMWS though, it was a distillery bottling.
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:45 pm

MGillespie wrote:Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark


Mark. I am driving up to Asbury Park, NJ next thursday. Do you know of any places where I can get the Yamazaki for $35. I believe Asbury Park is exit 9 on the Turnpike.
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:05 pm

Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark


Mark. I am driving up to Asbury Park, NJ next thursday. Do you know of any places where I can get the Yamazaki for $35. I believe Asbury Park is exit 9 on the Turnpike.


Here's what you want to do...take Exit 5 of the Turnpike and head west. You'll go a couple of miles, and once you pass under Interstate 295, about half a mile on your left is Canal's. They'll have the Yamazaki 12 for $36. After you're done...you can go back to the Turnpike and head for Asbury Park. (I'm not sure that it's Exit 9, though...have not made the Springsteen pilgrimage).

Mark
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:13 pm

MGillespie wrote:
Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark


Mark. I am driving up to Asbury Park, NJ next thursday. Do you know of any places where I can get the Yamazaki for $35. I believe Asbury Park is exit 9 on the Turnpike.


Here's what you want to do...take Exit 5 of the Turnpike and head west. You'll go a couple of miles, and once you pass under Interstate 295, about half a mile on your left is Canal's. They'll have the Yamazaki 12 for $36. After you're done...you can go back to the Turnpike and head for Asbury Park. (I'm not sure that it's Exit 9, though...have not made the Springsteen pilgrimage).

Mark


Thanks Mark. The reason I am going to Asbury Park is to see a Springsteen show at the Convention Center that night.
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:47 pm

Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:
Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:Are you looking only in the Virginia state stores? I can get Yamazaki 12YO for $35 in New Jersey...

Mark


Mark. I am driving up to Asbury Park, NJ next thursday. Do you know of any places where I can get the Yamazaki for $35. I believe Asbury Park is exit 9 on the Turnpike.


Here's what you want to do...take Exit 5 of the Turnpike and head west. You'll go a couple of miles, and once you pass under Interstate 295, about half a mile on your left is Canal's. They'll have the Yamazaki 12 for $36. After you're done...you can go back to the Turnpike and head for Asbury Park. (I'm not sure that it's Exit 9, though...have not made the Springsteen pilgrimage).

Mark


Thanks Mark. The reason I am going to Asbury Park is to see a Springsteen show at the Convention Center that night.


Sounds like fun...I'll PM you my cell number if you get lost and need directions...

Mark
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Postby Badmonkey » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:44 am

Alec wrote "Hey BadMonkey, have you tried the SMWS 116.6? This is the only Yoichi I have tried, and I have heard great things about it and Japanese whiskies in general, but I was very disappointed with the 116.6. Twas much better with water, but very one dimensional without."

Hey Alec,

I am fairly certain that I haven't, unless the owner slipped me a glass during one of my all-night forays into whisky at Helmsdale last spring. The soonest I'll be back in Tokyo to update my tasting notes is September. Perhaps the appearance of a few good Japanese whiskies on North American shelves portends new confidence in distillery marketing departments.

Cheers
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Postby MGillespie » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:33 pm

Scott...were you able to find Canal's and get the Suntory?

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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:21 pm

MGillespie wrote:Scott...were you able to find Canal's and get the Suntory?

Mark


Mark...I just returned from NJ and it was a success. Your directions were great and I got the last two bottles on the shelf. That store has a nice selection of single malts. I was also able to finally get a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask which has not made it to the Washington, DC market yet.
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Postby MGillespie » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:07 pm

Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:Scott...were you able to find Canal's and get the Suntory?

Mark


Mark...I just returned from NJ and it was a success. Your directions were great and I got the last two bottles on the shelf. That store has a nice selection of single malts. I was also able to finally get a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask which has not made it to the Washington, DC market yet.


You took the last two!!! I hadn't gotten mine yet, damnit! ;)
Glad you got the Laphroaig...

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Postby Badmonkey » Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:12 am

I shake my fist in envy at your Quarter Cask-swilling, Suntory-grabbing ways. Neither is available in Alberta and I am not holding my breath for a listing anytime soon. Lucky for me, I can probably parlay debts owed by a friend into two bottles of Japan's finest this summer and then bring 3 bottles home with me this fall. In the meantime, enjoy your latest finds, V.G. Some of us will by dramming vicariously through you.
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:46 pm

Yes, but you can get Alberta Premium and we can't...so there! ;)

By the way, Pennsylvania residents (or those close to the border) take note...the state stores are selling Laphroaig Quarter Cask for $46.99 (750ml) and Oban 14YO for $59.99...

Mark
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:48 pm

MGillespie wrote:Yes, but you can get Alberta Premium and we can't...so there! ;)

By the way, Pennsylvania residents (or those close to the border) take note...the state stores are selling Laphroaig Quarter Cask for $46.99 (750ml) and Oban 14YO for $59.99...

Mark


Thanks for the info Mark. I make several road trips a year up to Philadelphia. I guess next time I will be coming home with more than just Pat's steak sandwiches.
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:01 pm

Badmonkey wrote:I shake my fist in envy at your Quarter Cask-swilling, Suntory-grabbing ways. Neither is available in Alberta and I am not holding my breath for a listing anytime soon. Lucky for me, I can probably parlay debts owed by a friend into two bottles of Japan's finest this summer and then bring 3 bottles home with me this fall. In the meantime, enjoy your latest finds, V.G. Some of us will by dramming vicariously through you.


Sorry Badmonkey. I feel your pain. I waited a long time to get my hands on these bottles as well.
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:42 pm

Virginia Gentleman wrote:
MGillespie wrote:Yes, but you can get Alberta Premium and we can't...so there! ;)

By the way, Pennsylvania residents (or those close to the border) take note...the state stores are selling Laphroaig Quarter Cask for $46.99 (750ml) and Oban 14YO for $59.99...

Mark


Thanks for the info Mark. I make several road trips a year up to Philadelphia. I guess next time I will be coming home with more than just Pat's steak sandwiches.


Glad to help...the whiskies will last a lot longer than the cheesesteaks...

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:31 pm

MGillespie wrote:Glad to help...the whiskies will last a lot longer than the cheesesteaks...Mark


Ooh...I wouldn't be too sure.
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Postby Di Blasi » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:43 am

I recently tasted the Suntory single bourbon cask 10y (I think?), only available in Japan unfortunately. And also another cask strength, sherry, also only in Japan, damn! Both EXCELLENT! And I just finished my Suntory 12y, also very nice. And the 18y expression from Suntory too. My first impressions and reaction to Nikka, 10y and 15y, from the Yoichi distillery, were similar to Bruichladdich. Great stuff too! I'd like to try that 17y blend some folks discussed, heard it was good too.
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Postby Badmonkey » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:01 am

Di Blasi,

Please stop. You are complicating my summer purchase plan. Canada customs will only allow me to bring back a few bottles...
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Postby Di Blasi » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:35 am

Are you going to Japan in summer?? Look for that single bourbon cask, dynamite smoky stuff! That was the best out of the ones I mentioned, and again, only available for the Japanese! The others I mentioned were easier to get, more common, but still good. I'm sure you'll find some other great ones if you do go over that aren't known outside that market. Have fun! I'm curious to hear what you come back with.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:47 pm

Remember Badmonkey, you can bring back as many bottles as you want, you just have to pay duty on them and if you clear customs in Alberta, the cost is very low.

We're off to Scotland this summer and made a poin to clear customs in Calgary..... :wink:
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Postby Badmonkey » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:43 am

Excellent point, Lawrence, and thank you for bringing that to my attention. I had been assuming that I would clear customs in Vancouver, but if I go via San Fran or L.A. then I can miss Vancouver entirely. This changes the equation entirely. I might be able to bring a full line-up to the Victoria Whisky Festival yet!
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Postby Badmonkey » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:48 am

Di Blasi,

My buddy is returning from Japan this summer and I'll be travelling there in September/October. Ideally I would like to pick up one or two of the Suntory Vintage Cask bottlings, a few of the regular offerings, and then some shochu or nihonshu. I don't plan on buying much else on my travels, so I should be able to bring back a fair amount (thanks to Lawrence's helpful tip).
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Postby MacLover » Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:54 am

Hi Badmonkey,

Have you had a chance to look through Yahoo Auction Japan? You may be able to get the Suntory Vintage Casks a bit cheaper there. A staggering amount of whisky trades hands there. There are a wide range of whiskies available and often times I see the Suntory Vintage Casks come up for auction and sell for considerably less than the prices they sold for when first released (which I considered quite expensive). The only problem is that most sellers do not ship overseas so you will need to find a Japanese friend who can bid and pay for you.

Another alternative is that a local store (Yamaya) sometimes carries them on their rare malts shelf and are typically cheaper than standard whisky shops.

From a drinking perspective, I am not sure if Speyside Way or Helmsdale still carries them but last December the Mash Tun in Meguro had the full line up of Suntory Vintage Casks available.
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Postby Badmonkey » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:53 am

Thanks, Maclover. I never used the Yahoo auction site when I lived over there, but it might be a good plan of attack for picking up premium malts when I visit in the fall. I could have them sent to a buddy's place in the meantime.

The Yamaya shops I frequented (Akasaka, Shinjuku West, and Shibuya) were usually great on mid-range scotch, but usually pretty thin on Japanese drams. Helmsdale is where I usually went to get my fill of Japanese whisky; I might have to book an evening at the Mash Tun this time around.

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