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The Chichibu was founded as recently as 2007. This new make was distilled in May 2008 and bottled in October 2009, produced from non Braemer non-peated barley. It matured for a year on a bourbon barrel before receiving a five-month finish on virgin American oak.
Wow! What a fruity nose. Gooseberry, apple, tangerine and even some raisins. Subtle vanilla and ginger. Slightly waxy. Excellent nose for such an embryonic whisky.
With such a high ABV, you will gasp for air after the first sip. But what good new make indeed! The fruity aromas are transformed into taste on the palate, but with a few extras: more citrus and cinnamon. Even leans towards sherry influence. I am reluctant to say it, but this is fairly complex and mature.
The finish is long, sweet and very spicy.
What a pleasant surprise. This has yet to reach the age of two and already developed like this? It can hold its own next to quite a few 12 Year Old Scotches, I kid you not. An excellent embryo. Chichibu rises swiftly on my list of Japanese distilleries.