The world has gone completely mad about the Chichibu releases, that sell for big bucks… if you first won a ballot to be allowed to buy a bottle, that is. It does not get any crazier than this. This is an older release – albeit still available – from Ichiro-san; his Double Distilleries. The name refers to the fact that this contains young malt from his new Chichibu distillery, vatted with the legendary Hanyu malt from his grandfather’s distillery that closed in 2004.
The nose is surprisingly simply. Sweet barley sugars, young apples, yuzu, hazelnuts and caramel. Hint of apricot and flowery honey. Slowly evolves towards toffee apples and macadamia nuts. A fresh note of mint. I would have guessed a Lowlander if tasted blind.
The body is light. Again fresh and bright on honey, apples and some apricots, but I do get a little prickle now from white pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Very sweet indeed. But nothing earth shattering.
The finish is rather short, sweet on honey with a bit of vanilla and pepper.
The angel on my right shoulder says ‘Japanese whisky with Hanyu, must be great, right?’, while the devil on my left shoulder whispers ‘A lot of young Chichibu with just a drop of Hanyu’. Anyway, 130 EUR is a lot of money. Thanks, Marcel.