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Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old

Liquid Cotton Candy!

0 750

SReview by @Silas

30th May 2010

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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!

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7 comments

@LeFrog
LeFrog commented

I don't find this THAT sweet to be honest.

Personally I'd be happy to be a guest in your house if you served this :)

9 years ago 0

Silas commented

Thanks for the comment, LeFrog! I'm going to have to re-evaluate this one after I've tried more Scotches. Maybe my taste is moving toward the Islays. Once I used to drink Coca Cola... now I find it too sweet!

9 years ago 0

@Beelzebozo
Beelzebozo commented

Not to niggle, but Yamazaki isn't scotch, for a start. It's distilled in Japan, which certainly accounts for at least a few of its peculiarities. But yes, I agree with LeFrog that it is certainly not the sweetest whisky out there. I take it you're not much of a bourbon fan. ;-)

9 years ago 0

Silas commented

Not niggling! You are absolutely correct: a Single Malt Whiskey! NOT made in Scotland. It may not be the sweetest whiskey out there: what do you find sweeter? And, true for sure, not much of a Bourbon fan. But then, I haven't tried many Bourbons...there may be one out there that I like.

9 years ago 0

@Skepparkrantz
Skepparkrantz commented

Please invite me as a guest, i and Lefrog maybe can help you emplty this lovely bottle Whisky. :) But seriously this is one of my favorite everyday Whiskys, maybe not the most complex dram, but still a great one.

9 years ago 0

@LeFrog
LeFrog commented

That's the wonderful thing about whisky. It's such a complex spirit with hugely diverse range of flavours and styles.

There is something for everyone; some whiskies are going to polarize opinion.

9 years ago 0

@CaptinTom
CaptinTom commented

I’ve had a couple of bottles of the 12 year old and to be honest, I’m not quite sure where I stand with it. The first bottle was wonderful, very fruity and fructose in taste. However, when I got my second bottle, I was somewhat disappointed, as the sweetness seemed to have moved to a kind off bubble gum saccharin that coated the tongue. I left it at the back of my cabinet for a while, hoping that it was all in my head, but its defiantly a very different taste. I just had a look in the 2010 whisky bible and noticed that it was given 2 different scores. The 2009 bottling scored 93.5. Then 83 with a with a note about an increase in oak and caramel levels. In summary I just suppose it’s a case which bottling you get.

9 years ago 0

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