Whisky Review: Hibiki 響 21 Years Old 花鳥風月 Special Edition

Style: Delicate and Complex Nose: Delicate red plums, sweet with a dab of sourness, maple syrup bacon, nicely accompanied by semi-dry vanilla painted cereal notes. Light breeze of green sappy pine, sugar cane then we have round apricots and peaches at the core. Almond flakes fade, brown sugar emerges towards to the end. All the…

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Whisky Review: SMWS 120.8 Hakushu 白州 “A surge of sweet peat”

Style: Complex and Spicy Nose: Roasted macadamia nuts closely trailed by clean forest fruits. Pine nuts lightly grilled by peat smoke. Sweetness gradually opens up as shy glazed pineapples and passionfruit lollies step in with light green herbs and clove oil. A touch of smoked mackerel from the back, all the layers nicely overlap and…

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First Impression: Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu X Kusuda 2017

[57.5%・Distilled in 2011・Bottled in 2017 ・6 Years Old・Original Bottling・Limited Release of 1270 Bottles] Nose: Dignified with the fine French oak influence; a polite presence of wine tannins alongside freshly plucked strawberries conveying that clean sweetness and dressed with ginger flowers. Palate & Finish: A subtle macaron-like sweetness as the jammy strawberries intensify then effortlessly dissolve,…

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

Style: Vanilla and Complex Nose: 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…

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First Impression: Ocean Whisky Karuizawa Aged 21 Years

[43.0%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1967・Ocean Whisky Bottling・Limited Release of 498 Bottles] Nose: Subtle and elegant.  Beeswax, red cherries, soft fruits and fine raisins carried through a mellow oak influence.  Some red apples in time as well as the comforting barley sweetness gradually comes on. Palate & Finish: Certainly more lively on the palate, bright oranges…

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Whisky Review: Chita Distillery Only Edition

Style: Liqueur-ish and Herbal Nose: Sweet pear drops come with a touch of meatiness, or maybe that’s the scent of dry husk? Nosing can be challenging in an Izakaya bar. Signature grain dryness, the sweetness has a decent depth, finishing with refreshing light orange citrus, dried apricots. Palate: Adorable, silky entrance. Sweet caramel fudge carries…

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Whisky Review: SMWS 119.14 山崎 Yamazaki “Raspberry imperial stout”

Style: Sherry and Sweet Nose: Intoxicating aroma of raspberry-strawberry cake on the nose. Strawberry pop tart gunned down by white pepper and wood spice. Forest berries jam gradually opens up to more sherry goodness. Dig deeper we have dunnage duskiness, strawberries in the field, beetroot with a herbal touch. Palate: Strawberry malt cake swooping in…

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First Impression: Hibiki Mellow Harmony

[43.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2013・Official Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: A sweet raisin nose initially, it’s indeed very mellow, mildly winey.  Sweet plums with a soft hint of vanilla and smoke. Very Hibiki-esque, a harmony of fresh, clean and smooth vibes. Palate & Finish: A vanilla driven palate with a hint of salt with the juicy plum fruitiness coming…

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First Impression: SMWS Hanyu 131.2 “Magic Carpet in a Sweetie Shop”

[55.1%・Distilled in 2000・Bottled in 2014・13 Years Old・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 646 Bottles] Nose: Incredibly syrupy with the toffee treacle.  Plenty of aged leather with a hint of candied ginger but the overall tone leans towards the heaviness as gifted by a thick syrupy cask.  There is a rich waxiness amidst the prominent spices as…

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Whisky Review: SMWS 132.3 Karuizawa “Dark, mysterious and Seductive”

Style: Complex Sherry and Spicy Nose: Vanilla stick coated with a the layer of Demerara sugar, joined by fresh honey comb notes. A hint of capsicum and spice undertone. Light, melted caramel rounding off the aroma nicely. Palate: Even more vibrant and sharper first touch on the palate. A burst of red liquorice and hot chili…

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