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Yoichi on Hokkaido is Japan’s second oldest distillery (after Yamazaki) and the brainchild of Masetaka Taketsuru. It has been producinig since 1936. It is part of the Nikka concern to which Myagikyo also belongs. This official bottling was released in 2009.
Quite some fruit in the nose, but also a lot of smoke, more than on the regular 10 Year Old. I would swear I smell peat. Very spicy with hints of nuts as well.
On the palate, I cannot let go of the impression that peat was used. Earty notes as well. The fruit (apple and some apricots) are overcome by brine. I was not expecting this. But it is pleasant all the same. From the second sip on, it becomes a lot sweeter, but the liquorice becomes quite loud as well.
The finish is long, a bit salty and spicy.
Well, I honestly was not expecting such a peaty Yoichi, but what a pleasant surprise indeed. Good stuff, mind you! Unfortunately long gone.