I was fortunate to try this single cask at the Suntory W Shop a while back, a birth year bottling no less.
The bourbon influence is mammoth on the nose, with rich and indulgent vanilla and caramel notes providing that instant satisfaction. There is an oiliness of maize that interacts with a cream powder note. Wholesome cornflakes to go with a faint dose of spices.
A burst of strawberry fructose followed by a whopping sense of spiciness. Woof, it surely packs some heat. Hint of tropical pineapple note but the delivery is still overwhelmed by the palate-distorting spices.
It does slowly ease out in the finish with a clean oaky presence, along with honey and ginger notes that slowly surface.
I suppose bigger isn’t always better, especially for a distillery that so often excels in producing whiskies around the 48% mark. Although Yamazaki does work well with bourbon casks as much as they do with sherry casks, contrary to popular belief; on this occasion there is an imbalance in this one that just doesn’t work for me..