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Chichibu distillery is located in the town of Chichibu, close to the city of Saitama and about 120 kilometres to the northwest of Tokyo. Ichiro Akuto, the distillery’s charismatic founder, started construction planning in 2007, and after completing the distillery, a bottling plant and a warehouse he began distilling in the spring of 2008. The distillery equipment was made in and imported from Scotland, with the exception of the mash tun that was purchased from a local brewery. Ichiro Akuto’s long-term plan is to eventually grow, malt and peat his own barley but at present the barley is imported from England as well as from Germany, and the peat is brought in from Scotland. This expression here was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2013. It was matured in a so-called chibidaru, a cask similar to a quarter cask.
The nose is punchy and nicely malty. After a while there is a panoply of vanilla, caramel and honey flavours. Adding water does not really bring out any more elements.
The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. Vanilla and caramel are present, followed by a tart oakiness.
The finish is of medium length, warming, spicy and dry. Vanilla and oak flavours carry the day.
This is another chibidaru bottling from Chichibu and it was a little too oaky and dry for my taste. My favourite chibidaru bottling remains the one I reviewed on 24 February 2013 (cask #291).