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The color is a dark, rich gold for such a light-tasting whiskey, suggesting artificial coloring, but I honestly have no clue.
The nose is sharply fruity, with a zing of passion fruit and tart white fruit like pear and lemon. There is also a slight beefiness or muskiness that reminds me of An Cnoc or perhaps Tomintoul, with other savory notes like butter, cream, and barley.
On the tongue, it is sharply sweet and finishes pretty long. Further tasting yields a buttery softness, more of the pear and passion fruit, and a lollipop-like sweetness. The slight vegetal mustiness and oiliness are welcome side notes in a whiskey that would otherwise be a bit too plainly sweet.
Overall, Yamazaki clearly demonstrates the Japanese dedication to crafting authentic and capable single malts that could give some native scotches a run for their money. It's elegant and well worth tasting. The price in my part of the U.S.A. is a demerit; there are better and cheaper single malts out there. The bottle is nice to look at, but has a plain screw-on lid as a little oddity. That's not a problem for me.