Whisky Review: Chita Distillery 知多 Special Edition

Style: Liqueur 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 the grain spirit. Nice texture, dark Moschino cherries, milk chocolate and walnuts. Banana and orange liquors. Husky and herbal notes huff and puff, plenty of dry spices lying around. Subtle blend of linseed, white pepper, anise, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Finish:
Dried oranges, Rioja, a hint of husk with light fruits. Spicy undertone softly fading.

Thoughts:
According to the label, this is a 10 year old grain whisky with a white oak (one might presume Bourbon casks) and wine cask vatting. It is a rather interesting interpretation. The herbal character and the sweetness brings out the spirit-y side of the dram, hence making it a bit liqueur-ish. I didn’t grow to like it yet but it is something worth trying for people who are keen to find out more about grain whiskies…

[43% • Circa 2014 Original Bottling • Aged 10 Years • Limited Edition]

-Esmond

Tasted at Tokyo Bird, Sydney. 

Whisky News & Review: The Chita 知多 Single Grain Whisky

The House of Suntory, one of Japan’s largest whisky producers, is welcoming The Chita, a delicate new whisky which has landed Australia last month.

The Chita is the first single grain whisky from the House of Suntory, and originates from the Chita peninsula in Japan’s seaside Aichi Prefecture.

Fourth House of Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo describes the Chita single grain whisky as the “serenity of Japanese whisky.” Like the misty, calm seas of the Chita Peninsula on a day of elegant stillness, this airy whisky has a presence that is serene.

The Japanese have quietly mastered their own version of whisky, with immense nuance and meticulous precision with the industry itself only being less than a century old. For a nation of such committed whisky makers and drinkers, Japan is the world’s third largest producer behind Scotland and the US, with only around ten distilleries currently operating in the country. Japanese Whisky is in constant demand across the globe, with a 64% growth year on year.

Chita has a light taste and delicately sweet fragrance of honey and crème brûlée aromas. Like the House of Suntory range, the packaging design features black calligraphy that expresses the distinctive qualities of Japanese whisky set on a white Japanese washi paper, representing the light flavours in the spirit.

The Chita is an introduction into the House of Suntory for new whisky drinkers, available from select bottle shops and bars across Australia now.

Here’re my tasting notes and thoughts on the Chita…

The Chita 知多 Single Grain Whisky

Style: Light and Sweet

Nose:

Light corn syrup drizzling on vanilla cotton candy on the first whiff, leaner grain signatures are emerging – husk and dry cereal notes. Hint of sea spray hidden within. Caramel popcorn sitting on gentle green spices. Light and easy, quite nice. A lick of white pepper thinly layering on oak staves at the back end.

Palate:

Aromatic honeyed corn juice mixes with fizzing soda. Refreshing. Grain signatures now carrying prominent floral notes, dabs of perfumed white flower showing up from time to time. Cornflakes and a small piece of white chocolate at the mid-palate. Then the herbal facet combines with the oak to form a bitter front – green herbs, sandalwood chips and a touch of chilli spice to finish.

Finish:
Bitterness lingers, vanilla candy with more oak and herbs. Quite tannic as well.

Thoughts:
Started with a rather promising nose, painting out a light and bright picture, quite pleasant. The palate follows a similar theme but too often interrupted by the bitterness, whether it be the herbal side of the spirit or the oak, or both. Too bad it is slightly out of control. Still beautifully structured like other Suntories. Close to a tick.

[43% • circa 2016 Original Bottling • Single Grain Whisky • General Release]

-Esmond

My thanks to Liquid Ideas for the bottle.

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. Most impressive for a young grain.

Palate:
Herbal and hot spices on the first touch, but what follows is a similar but silkier entrance comparing to the nose. Peppermint overtone, dry grass and ginger slices. More white pepper as the sweetness kicks in, fat orange drop, green bananas plus a hint of juniper berries. Light, creamy texture, perhaps another block of white chocolate. Shaved timber surfaces with lingering herbal spices at the end.

Finish:
A rather soft and quick finish, lightly grassy, subtle vanilla candy and banana.

Thoughts:
What a sublime cask from this Japanese grain distillery. Rawness can be hardly detected at this very young age yet it is already so delicious. It feels this virgin oak cask has done wonders on the spirit, the sweetness combines splendidly with the herbal character to create a great profile. A complete revelation indeed, bravo!!

☆ [Recommended]

[58.3% • 2015 Bottled • 2009 Distilled • Independent Bottling • Aged 4 Years • 622 Bottles • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Virgin Oak Puncheon Matured • *]

-Esmond