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It is hard to resist this whisky from the get-go simply by the looks of it. The bottle is one of the nicest bottles/decanters out on the market today and it shows in this whisky's popularity. However there's more to this than a classy bottle. Behind it's elegant, colourless shape lies a very interesting spirit indeed.
Nose: Raisins, purple grape and plums. Some slight cacao and ginger come forth with a slight whiff of peat smoke (hmmm). After this smoke veil has gone, some stewed fruits appears with some more plums, and caramel. A good interplay between grain and malt, and slight "Pain-au-chocolat" confectionary smell dimension to this lovely characterful mellow nose.
Palate: Intense but mild/sweet first impression. Big vanilla cream pastries with baked plums/plum jelly and a wide array of sweet baking spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger).
Finish: Not very long (as is often the Achille's heel of japanese whiskies overall) but satisfying finish with Vanilla cream, plums and natural toffee-caramel.
A delightful blend that proves that it's not only just for show, but it's there to make you have a very pleasant moment. It's manufactured (with all the blend-proprieties that apply) but still exempts a quality feel not only a "manufactured" quality feel but a good dose of unbridled flavor as well.