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It's not every day you come across a cask-strength blended whisky of any sort, let alone one from Japan. I picked this up on a whim, and it turns out I'm glad I did.
Nose: at full strength, somewhat sweet and sherried. An oaky tang is present, with a touch of licorice. Water seems to emphasize the wood aromas.
Taste: at full strength, it is both strong and supple. It glides over the tongue, prickling as it goes, unfolding with malty sweetness and a touch of smoke. There is a sweetness here that is unique to the Yoichi single malt, like a mild ginger flavour embedded in the malt. Add some water and the malt flavour expands, as does the peaty flourish. Again I am reminded of Yoichi. Whatever grains were used do not make much of an impression amidst such flavourful malt. It has the slippery smoothness of a blend but the flavour impact of a good malt.
Finish: leaves echoes of peat in the mouth. This is by no means a peaty whisky but the peat is certainly there if you look for it.
Balance: I look at this as an easier-drinking and more affordable alternative to Yoichi 10 year old. It is pleasant all around, and packs a big flavour punch. Great whisky.