First Impression: Ichiro’s Malt Houou-Uhi

One can make an argument that Mr. Ichiro Akuto is perhaps one of the leading figures in blended whiskies these days, with Chichibu and some dwindling Hanyu stocks at his disposal. His casks have featured in the two releases this year that melted whisky forums, the Glover and Ghost 8; but it’s his earlier stuff from a few years’ back that really intrigues me. This particular bottling features some 12-15 years old Hanyu and Kawasaki up to 35 years of age, it’s bottled for Japanese department store Isetan (Funny thing about Japanese department stores, they used to be the places where people could get their hands on single cask Japanese whiskies).

On the nose, there is a hint of grain spice that’s just there, rather shy initially. There is a soft fragrant note that makes for a rather pretty scene.

A cute cotton candy note arrives on the palate, there is a touch of Chinese fritillaria syrup note that draws out the oiliness from the grain coming through. Cherries, lychees and orange peels.

The finishing is vaguely long with tender cherry blossoms, and a hint of Schweppes Cream Soda, of all things.

This one is a treat if you are a person who likes the finer things in life, I have been refraining from using the term ‘delicate’ but I will make an exception for this dram!

-NL