Whisky Review: SMWS 116.20 Yoichi 余市 “Fascinating complexity and finesse”

Style: Vanilla and Complex

Vanilla toffee and hot toddy spiced up by white pepper on the nose. Round melon sweetness and wood shavings lightly smoked with gentle peat. A positive vibe. Caramel pudding followed by incredible amount of wood incense. Anise, cinnamon stewed with fruits which has been lurking deep with the malt. A virgin oak malt through and through.

More and more vanilla caramel pouring onto the palate. In comes a nice amount of amber peat and wood smoke. Lapsang tea, white flower, tropical fruits, char-grilled pineapple, coconut cream. After a while the dram opens up to an endless stream of sweetness. Yellow flower, vanilla wood, vanilla milk, orange drops, ester fruits… It goes on and on… Finishes with a dash of salt, bonfire and barbeque seafood.

Milk pudding, sesame with a touch of miso paste. Floral, fruitiness drying up and we have dying amber smoke and peat. Delicious.

Honestly I don’t cheer for virgin oak cask malts, because in general virgin oak injects in a lot of vanilla and caramel which tends to overwhelm the spirit. But this whisky is one of the rare exceptions. Yes, there’re still ample vanilla and caramel, but when the whisky opens up, you can find much more complexities and finesse under the virgin oak mask. Layer after layer of flavours come to you… Very enjoyable. Pour yourself a healthy dram, you can enjoy this all night.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[61.6% • 2013 Bottled • 1987 Distilled • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 452 Bottles • Aged 26 Years • Matured in Virgin Oak Puncheon • **]