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Chit chatting with my new favorite whisky bartender the other night, I looked up and saw a couple Japanese labels up on the shelves. I've been hearing a lot of talk about the Japanese scene here on Connosr, so I asked him about them.
He said he was a fan. He immediately proceeded to climb the ladder and bring down both the Yamazaki and the Hukushu, which I'll get to in a bit.
He poured me a dram of the Yamazaki and, as with every other dram of the night, left me with the bottle. Awesome bartenders make things more awesome.
Nose: First whiff, the alcohol is very prominent. I take a look at the bottle and see that it's only 43%. That's a bit more burn for the ABV than I tend to care for. The rest of the nose is pretty distant. I had to hunt a little at first, but then it started to open up. Florals, honey, fruitiness... Hm. Not bad!
Palate: This is a very, very sweet dram. Reminds me of a speyside-esque type malt. Rose pedals, cherry, a lot of fruit going on that lends itself to more of a tropical feel than an orchard. A very pleasant, summary palate.
Finish: Somewhat short for my liking, but still very pleasant. Definitely getting more of the floral notes here that I picked up from the nose, and with a deep breath those florals, honey and vanilla come creeping back up my throat. Nice profile there, just wish it was longer!
Balance: Eh. Not amazing. The nose needs some work - it's very faint, and the alcohol right up front for 43% is a bit of a turn off. But hey, I would still drink the stuff if offered to me!