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This one is courtesy of @paddockjudge, who always saves me samples of things I can’t get myself but would love to try.
I haven’t tried too many Japanese whiskies before. Other than one a sip or two of the Yamasaki 18 everyone was gushing about (It pays to be polite - or at least appear so - in line at Spirit of Toronto) and it’s 10 YO sibling in 2011, that might be it.
So I was excited to give this one a go.
Neat - Ripe fruits. Some pineapple. Maybe a hint of vanilla. Sweet. Very few bass notes. On the nose this is a very floral whisky. 23/25
With a few drops of water and 10 minutes - green apple, honey.
Taste: Wow! Lots of fruit, just like in the nose. A little spirit. It’s got a thin mouthfeel as though it were chill-filtered. Slight hint of vanilla. Marmalade came to my mind. not sure if I tasted it or thought it. Another sip confirms it. 23/25
With the water, the flavours are washed out. It becomes bitter. With time and perseverance some of the fruits are back. Definitely better neat.
Finish: A little short. Dry, some tannins, and, interestingly, pineapple on the finish. A little sour. 21/25
Balance. The palate receives what the nose promised. This seems to be quite a nicely balanced whisky. 22/25
At cask strength or even possibly at 46% this could be a 94/100 whisky. There is nothing really wrong with it. It’s clean, fruity, but slightly underpowered.
I would definitely accept this if offered. And possibly buy a bottle if the opportunity arose at a fair price.