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Now my wife and I are finally on our way to Helvetica the whisky bar that we've been trying to go to for months now. We're excited, myself more then her. We're going to meet my brother and sister in law at Helvetica as they're leaving work and grabbing dinner before joining us.
The city is alive as we walk from the restaurant where we started the evening with some italian and Glenfarclas 12 yr old.
We walk into Helvetica. It's this a little hole in the wall in a part of the back alley and doesn't look like much as we walk in. Then everything changes.
A wall of sound hits us as we walk in and our immediately surrounded by drinkers starting their night out, but what hits me the most is the sight of dozens and dozens of good whisky bottles! This should be a good night!!
My wife and I grab a couple seats in the corner and she sits down as I head to the bar for our first drink. Now I know what we're starting the night with, but my wife doesn't. Blind tastings for my lovely wife all night.
The first whisky of the evening is one that my wife has been wanting to try for months now. The Yamazaki 12 yr old. She's been extremely eager to try it as she's curious how the japanese whiskies are different then the american whiskies and scotch.
However I won't tell my wife won't she's tasting until afterwords because as my wife says she sometimes decides in advance if she thinks she'll like something or not. So blind we go!
I bring the tulip glass with the Yamazaki 12 yr old back to our table and offer it to my wife. She smells and goes "Smells like what I think cherry blossoms smell like"
We hand it back and forth between the two of us, each nosing and describing what we smell. I also get something along the lines of cherry blossoms or what I would imagine a nice walk through the woods in Japan on a nice spring day with the cherry blossoms blooming.
As we continue to nose we get oak, butter, vanilla, a huge hit of cherry blossoms or some sort of floral and a hint of alcohol tinge. This is a different whisky from what we're used to.
We then drink. I hand the glass to my wife for the first drink and she comes back with "very dry, lots of oak" I take a sip and I get the oak and the dryness, then we start getting a hint of honey and vanilla, but the oak seems to have a strong presence on the tongue. It's not unpleasant, but this is definitely a whisky I'm going to have to be in the mood for.
My wife looks at me and tells me that she doesn't care for this whisky and what whisky is this. She looks very surprised when I tell her that this is the Yamazaki 12 yr old and looks a bit disappointed.
The finish is long, but with quite a bit of oak and quite a bit of unpleasant bitterness.
The Yamazaki 12 yr old isn't a bad whisky, but at the going rate of $100 bucks AUS per bottle it's not value worth money for me. I'd prefer a bottle of Talisker 10 yr old or Macallan 12 yr old Fine Oak for cheaper.
Next whisky on the block is the Hakushu 12 yr old! I'm hoping this will be a little bit better.