Dram Review: Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel Bottled in 2013

[48.2%・Bottled in 2013・NAS・Original Bottling・Limited Release]

As Bar White Oak drew to a close, it’s perhaps time to look back with fondness on the dearly departed collective.

There is a generation of whisky lovers out there, myself included, who missed out on Japanese whiskies when they were regarded as bang-for-the-buck offerings that kept punching above their weights. I am not familiar with that period but I have been told time and again that there was indeed such a time.. and Bar White Oak was like a time machine that transported many of us back to that era.

And so even though we all fully understood that Bar White Oak was never meant to stay on, our hearts grew heavy and we regretted not spending more time there. However, as a whisky fan, the inherent finiteness of great whiskies is not a foreign notion and one quickly learns to embrace and celebrate the sad but beautiful nature of things.

One of the bottlings that’s worth celebrating for is the Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel (bottled in 2013). My previous encounter with this whisky consisted of me sniffing the long emptied bottle. It was a captivating nose, the rich body conveys so much satisfaction that gave me a sense of euphoria akin to what Richard Hammond must have felt when he stomped his foot on the pedal of the 1963 Opel Kadett.. and so it was a treat to finally getting acquainted to it.


On the nose there is this satisfying char, a good presence of vanilla and tropical fruits blended harmoniously together. It’s thick with the luscious barley influence coming through. Mangoes and passion fruits dressed with condensed milk.

Palate & Finish:

Sweet dreamy vanilla note on the palate, well infused with the summery fruits. A sublime delivery with this sugar-cured pineapple note coming on. Playful, attractive vibes that make the dram oh so delicious.

The wood vaguely touches upon the delightfully summery nature of this whisky in the finish, like sparks that make the dram shine brighter..

☆ [Recommended]

Thank you guys for granting us the chances to sample whiskies we would otherwise miss out on! It’s been a privilege!

P.S: All the best Yao and Kevin in your future endeavours! Thanks for looking after me!