First Impression: Kirin Fuji Sanroku 18 Years Old

A.K.A. “The Thirty Seventh View of Mount Fuji”

Kudos to the Baxter Inn for securing a bottle directly from Japan. This is not a bottling from the ‘Big Four’ Japanese Distilleries but instead it’s produced in Fuji Gotemba distillery, owned by the beverage giant Kirin and it is just as highly sought after by the people in the know. The rarity of this particular expression stems from the fact that Fuji Gotemba mostly produces grain whisky for blending purposes and as such this 18 year-old single malt is a rather limited release. Only a small number of this expression would have made it across to Australia and I felt in luck that a nip of this didn’t cost me too much!

This beauty starts off with forest pine and maple syrup on the nose. A lovely monogamy note to it. A hint of ripe strawberry nectar with some poached raisins. Let it breathe and a moist woodiness sips through. Sugary caramel and a bit of youthful ginger note, ripe apple flesh.

The palate is first hit with sweet raisin notes with a faint hint of woodiness, the bitterness native to many Japanese whiskies. Lemon preserve, apple peels and hint of mandarin essence. The citrusy edge slides in seamlessly. There is a creaminess on the backend alongside chilli and pepper notes.

The dose of creaminess lingers on in the finish with soft spices and tender maltiness. Bits of caramel sweetness and dried fruit peel bitterness supported by that slight woodiness. There’s a lot of depth with this piece.

-NL