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- Brand: Suntory
- ABV: 43%
It’s a warm lazy Sunday afternoon and I’m not in the mood to be doing anything to write home about, so I’m at home writing about whisky. This comes from a sample bottle from a friend of mine who nearly spat out the sample he was trying when he found out what it would cost for a Nikka 12 or a Hibiki 17.... so here we are. I’d agree with his decision to balk at the price on Japanese whisky these days, but Jap whisky seems to be such a hot commodity these days that there are many who’d buy whatever they can afford and hope it’s at least a drink that’s interesting. Anyways, on to the whisky itself.
Bit of online research shows the Chita is Suntory’s grain whisky, some reviewers think it is a mix of wine, bourbon and sherry barrels. The color is really light, so if that fact is true, then the spirit probably spent very little time in any of the casks and it is probably natural color. It’s also an NAS whisky so that can go and grind my gears and get me all prejudiced against it. Yee haw.
Nose: I find it shy, have to really dip my nose deep in the glass to be able to start discerning what it is that I’m smelling. There’s some some pencil shavings, something new make-ish, nail polish remover...after that bit passes, I can pick out a bit of light fruits - maybe mango and sour apple juice. It’s not a particular great start in my opinion.
Palate: well it’s similarly as shy as the nose. Decent texture for a 43% whisky; I felt like I needed to hold it a bit longer than other whiskies before it started to kick in, but once it does - it starts off with a vanilla cake sweetness that comes with the smoothness of a butter based icing; a sharp tanginess comes in and makes me long for some water.... not a thirsty need for water, but that tanginess that borders on having that “licked lots of steel objects” quality.
Coming back in, I get a hit of baking soda level bitterness in here too. Hmmm unfortunate.
Finish: what finish? Disappears pretty quick
Didn’t have high expectations for this one, so at least I wasn’t let down. I’d recommend not buying a bottle of this to anyone who’s hard up for a bottle of Japanese whisky. Either buy the good stuff or don’t buy it at all. This whisky would drown in a scotch and soda, and it doesn’t matter what soda you pick.... but that’s probably for the better. Sure, it’s not the worst thing in the world, there are pleasant notes in this whisky and it is easy drinking, but overall it’s relatively lifeless, and when you do pick up some of the flavors, I find there’s off notes that are not too far behind to mar the experience. Such a shame in general. When I think of Japan, I think of a culture pushing boundaries - it may not be for everyone but at least it’s jaw dropping or entertaining in some fashion. This whisky doesn’t tick any of those boxes for me. I need a palate cleanser. I want scotch! American Scotch from Scotland! Get this swill away from me :P