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
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.
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.
Bitterness lingers, vanilla candy with more oak and herbs. Quite tannic as well.
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]
My thanks to Liquid Ideas for the bottle.