So I managed finally to get a bottle of Japanese whiskey that wasn't a Yamazaki 12 or 18, the only ones marketed in the U.S. My first impressions (second impressions this evening) are that this is one of my favorite whiskeys. Sweet pine, wet bark, and driftwood on the nose and pallet. Smoothest 45% I've experienced and it's long finish (out of which vanilla bubbles up in the end) was the more surprising for that.
Interestingly (to me at least), I've wondered what it would be like if there were a serious single-malt movement in the U.S. attempting to produce quality product using scotch-worthy methods but, unlike McCarthy's, say, which imports peated malt from Scotland, keeping it all 100% local. What regional characteristics, if any, would materialize? I live in NY but I'm from Western Washington (State), and if I were to imagine what a whiskey distilled there (but from barley grown in Eastern Washington, where such things are grown) would taste like, I think would imagine something rather like this Yoichi.