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At the same time as the release of the Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, Suntory also launched their Hakusu Distiller’s Reserve. This one is mildly peaty and according to insiders is composed of both young and not so young malt (some say it even contains some of their 18 Year Old).
The nose is surprisingly light and soft. Even a bit perfumy. Vanilla, pears and freshly cut grass come first, then some lemon zest, a twig of mint and a hint of coconut. Marshmallow? Not so much peat, though. A bit of smoke, yes, but you need to look for it. Not that I mind. It is quite pleasant.
It is somewhat oily, but does not have a lot of body. The lemon zest appears first, followed immediately by vanilla, honey and icing sugar. Surprisingly sweet. The mint is a lot louder than on the nose. Reminds me a bit of After Eight, but without the chocolate. Ginger, pepper and wet earth complete the picture. The smokiness is still rather delicate.
The finish is surprisingly long on a sweet spiciness. Or a spicy sweetness. Well, you know what I mean. Only now do I get the feeling that it is indeed a peaty whisky, for it dies on grassy notes with some earth and mint, but also with a wonderful salty terminus.
A very affordable and quaffable Japanese dram.