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When I was very young, a special treat for us Deep South Louisianians was a trip to the State Fair! And always, we were fascinated by the cotton candy man and his magic machine. We watched, entranced as the machine spun the filaments of reddish sugar, whilst, around the edges the vendor swooped down a pointed paper cone to the side and the ball of spun magic grew larger and larger. What artistry! Something out of the Chronicles of Narnia!
I loved that taste as a child--now I find it a bit "over-the-top" sweet. Almost "cloying."
Maybe my tastes have changed? When I was 18 I liked Mogen David Blackberry wine....now I wouldn't touch it. I like a fine Cabernet or a Pinot Noir now. Maybe that's it. Maybe a virtual beginner would like the sugar.
My first impression on my very first sip of Yamazaki 12 was "liquid Cotton Candy," only, with a dash of alcohol to spice it up. I was a little surprised, but not in a "gimme somemore NOW" way.
As with cotton candy, I could never sustain the wonderful magic moments of the first lip-smacking sugar, I could not bear that sweetness in this scotch: it was SO dominant as to overpower anything else.
On nosing from a Glencairn glass (I can really get my nose in this sucker!) I could get a good whiff of alcohol--I thought that a good thing! Creeping around the alcohol, I could almost hear the sound of a candy bar being unwrapped. You know the sound....your brother would come running and say, "I want some!"
A tiny sip: Alcohol(slight) with maybe the taste of a Junior Mint. Slight warming at back of throat. Another sip: a little Peppermint--the red and white ones you get as you leave the restaurant, which they don't tell you, is bad for your Reflux: ironic, isn't it?
I now realize I'm having Dessert, and I just didn't know it. I NEVER have dessert BEFORE a big meal, so I would never have this dram as a prelude to eating.
In fact, pass on the mints as you leave the restaurant and have a Yamazaki.
Strangely, I think I would only ever drink but ONE of these, no more....and not 2 ounces either...perhaps a "wee dram."
Many singe malts I've tasted had me restraining myself for more: Highland Park 12, 18; Glenmorangie 10 Original; Balvenie Single Cask, Talisker 10, 18. I'd even drink Glenlivet TWICE, and it's the scotch I keep out for "uninvited guests."
I've read there is a Yamazaki 18 which has rave reviews...I'm not inclined to spend $100 to see.
And, for now, I'll place this one out for my uninvited buddies and tell them, "Here, have a liquid candy bar! And, if they want yet another, why, I'll be happy to oblige!