- Brand: Shinshu Mars
- ABV: 52%
Shinshu Mars released this single malt, distilled in 2011, in 2016. It first matured on bourbon- and sherry casks and then got a finish on Japanese red wine casks from Yamanashi. The malt is 5 years old, has a bright copper sheen that is mouthwatering to me.
On the nose, I’d say oloroso cask before I’d say wine cask, it’s that sweet. Sure, there are some tannins, but far from oaky. The spirit withstood the wine very well and the whole is harmonious on black grapes, raisins and dark chocolate with hints of cloves, black pepper and some red fruit (think strawberry & cherry). My only concern – if you can call it that – is that I do not recognize the Komagatake style (nor any Japanese whisky for that matter). That typical incense I often find on the nose is absent here.
The body is silky soft, but the taste fairly piquant on oriental spices, cloves and chili pepper. Thank I get a stew of red fruit (mostly cherries now), fruit tea, cocoa and woodsmoke. And it turns quite lovely indeed. The second sip is even more satisfying than the first with a deep sweetness that comes to the fore gently.
It’s mostly some interesting smoky notes that captivate in the finish.
A bit of an odd one out. Maberikku, as they say. Somewhat unrecognizable as a Japanese whisky, but very recognizable as a delicious malt. Thx, Manny.