Dram Review: White Oak Akashi Aged 12 Years

[50.0%・12 Years Old・Bottled in 2011・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 2000 Bottles]    Nose:   The dustiness sets an ominous vibe, but is immediately lifted by the pleasure of a creamy white wine presence.  Sichimi with a surprising dose of antiseptic and burnt plastic.   Palate & Finish:   Incredibly syrupy at first with the sweet condensed…

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Dram Review: Yamazaki Mizunara Japanese Oak Cask Aged 18 Years 2017 Edition

[48.0%・18 Years Old・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: The nose is fairly understated and reserved here, which in a way highlights the spectrum of flavours and how evenly they are arranged.  Coconut chips, pear puree and subtle cherry preserves stacking neatly against each other like kissing buttons on the cuffs of a well measured suit.…

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Dram Review: Yamazaki Mizunara Japanese Oak Cask Bottled in 2013

[48.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2013・Official Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: A certain je nais sais quoi with how lovely the mizunara is laid out, absolutely mesmerising.  The top notes are refreshing with delicate jammy notes and subtle hints of coconut chips and marzipan.  The unfolding of the oak is alluring, layers peeling off to reveal hints of tobacco and…

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Dram Review: Tokyo International Bar Show Whisky Live Tokyo 2013 Yamazaki Mizunara

[50.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2013・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 547 Bottles] Nose: The nose is filled with that old-timey, diligently polished wood note common in Japanese shrines and mizunara matured whiskies; within the wood exists hints of muscovado sugar and pepper.  Pine wood and a slight incense smoke give a calming touch, with maple syrup and a wee…

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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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Whisky Review: 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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Whisky Review: 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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