Whisky Review: Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu IPA Cask Finish 2017

Style: Fruity, Gingery and Bright

Nose:

Begins with a comfortable blend of vanilla cream and marmalade. Tropcial fruits, pineapple and overripe honeydew building on a citrus edge. Quiet forest breeze, spearmint and green pine gently sheathed by the sweetness at the core. Floral notes crystallized into sugary confectioneries which are elevated by energetic spices. A near-invisible whiff of dunnage malt towards the end.

Palate:

Orange and pineapple infused into fizzling ginger ale, setting a fresh and vibrant tone on the palate, very nice. Green peppermint and pine notes soaring high again, luscious passion fruit syrup drizzling generously on a beer-flavoured milkshake (imagine that!). An aromatic layer of hops lying in between. Rich vanilla milk at the back, a bit of caramel sauce and oatmeal to finish.

Finish:

Faint beer signatures, citrus malt with ginger shreds and orange bitters to finish. Still fresh and delicious but dries up quicker than usual and leaving a curious void.

Thoughts:

I was stunned when I first tried a sample of this (thanks Jose), not only by the high standards of this malt, but very much by how beer cask maturation has opened my eyes to a new flavour dimension of malt whisky – a novel set of ginger and floral traits; the extra lightness and crispness instilled by IPA casks in such an agreeing way. The synergy is definitely there, and it works exceptionally well with Chichibu’s bright and citrus-driven distillate, making it an immensely fresh summer whisky. Beautiful dram, extremely close to 2 stars.

☆ [Recommended]

[57.5% • Original Bottling • 2017 Bottled • No Age Statement • Cask Strength • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • 6082 of 6700 Bottles • *+]

-Esmond