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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Whisky Review: Miyagikyo Single Cask 2000 Aged 13 Years

Style: Fruity and Spicy Nose: Fragrant apple and pear drops burst into scene with dazzling sweetness. A very pure and clean aroma… Strolling on spring glass and along meadow bank. Delicious lychee martini, with a touch of enthusiastic ginger and peppermint spice. Slightly drying towards the end. Palate: More frisky fruity notes, a clean interchange…

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Whisky Review: Hakushu Sherry Cask 2014

Style: Sweet and Elegant Nose: Brilliant mix of forest fruits, pine and raisins. Tree sap and green grass flickering charmingly. Deeper hides an inkling of smoke and malt, spotless cucumbers and cereal notes rising from the back. Palate: Delicious raisins land with perfect weight. Sweetness of pears, dark cherries and oranges congregate at the fore.…

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Whisky Review: Yamazaki Aged 12 Years

Style: Sweet and Fruity Nose: Velvety, fresh fruits sided with deep, fragrant oak spices and white pepper. Orange and cherry gummies, vanilla and a touch of red licorice. Gentle spices winking, warm, refreshing and balanced aroma. Palate: Deliciously sweet, ripe orange and peach sharpened by dry pepper spices and wood fragrance. Flavour contracts in the…

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Whisky Review: SMWS G13.1 Chita “A Complete Revelation”

Style: Sweet and Peppery Nose: A sweet and spicy opening. Incredible amount of white pepper scattered with herbal and minty side touches. Solid sweetness anchor nicely in the middle, caramelized bananas and mandarin citrus. Going slightly creamy, delicious vanilla marshmallows and white chocolate. Chalky oak slowly emerges towards the end. Massive and immensely enjoyable nose.…

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Whisky Review: Yoichi 余市 Aged 20 Years Single Cask #400654

Style: Rich and Complex Nose: Cold breeze of peppermint mist diffusing across to the nose, slowly, smooth edges of fruity malt become more visible with traces of ashy smoke gently weaved into the aroma. Stew fruits, timber shavings, coffee and cloves all combined beautifully, it feels the maturation has reached an optimal point. Rich and…

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First Impression: Hakushu Owner’s Cask 2B 40276

[57%・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2011・Original Bottling・Single Cask Release of 253 Bottles] Nose: Wood shaves and glue initially for a moment, but henceforth it rewards with a wood fired toasted marshmallow note that transpires basic happiness.  The sweetness from the fruits has been muted but the freshness has been harnessed, with a brush of woodiness laid…

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First Impression: Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel Bottled in 2013

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…

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Whisky Review: Ichiro’s Malt Aged 23 Years Cask Strength

Tasting Notes: Ichiro’s Malt Aged 23 Years Cask Strength ☆ Style: Sweet and Composed Nose: Sweet honey cornflakes aroma, red fruits and flower meadow in touch with an unexpected dash of white vinegar. Fresh peppermint spice fizzes, then we come to see some lively, light-hearted malt. Palate: Beautiful sherry and floral notes entwining and unfolding…

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