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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 was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2009 as a 9-year old from hogshead cask #8779 and with an outturn of 230 bottles.
The nose is intensely malty, spicy and nutty. As main flavours I detected milky biscuit, hints of fudge and caramel.
The palate is medium-bodied but mouth coating. Light flavours of vanilla and caramel carry the day. This is quite malty and biscuity but less interesting than the nose.
The finish is of medium length, spicy and peppery.
This is a rather complex Hanyu that I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing. While the nose was very interesting, I found both palate and finish to be a bit lacklustre. Still, this single malt reflects the usual high-quality work from Hanyu.