Google Strange duets, two Japanese

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 19, 2017


Strange duets, two Japanese

This will be a short session, with Japan’s new shining star, Chichibu, and the bottling that kind of started the Japanese craze, that Yamazaki. It was about time we decided to try it, don’t you think?

Chichibu 2011/2017 (58.6%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #1292)

Chichibu 2011/2017 (58.6%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #1292) Five stars In case you’re wondering what it is, there’s a delicate watercolour titled ‘Water Iris’ by Azuka Irie on the label. Oh and this is an unpeated version. Colour: pale gold. Nose: straight and immaculate. Sweet bread, citrons, lime grass, a touch of chalk, a touch of yoghurt, and a handful of white-ish cherries. With water: oh, oils! Diesel oil! Waxes! As I sometimes write, the best use of water, ever. Mouth (neat): extraordinary. Massive and yet delicate, this samurai of a malt whisky would just cut you in halves, should you ingest more than one drop at a time. But then, it’s millimetric, superbly and softly spicy (Szechuan pepper), and adorably fruity, with apricots for sure, notes of elderberry syrup, and zucchini flowers. I find this amazing, really, such precision in any whisky is, well, flabbergasting. Almost a winemaker’s whisky, I’d say. With water: oooh! I do find a pinhead of wasabi (don’t sass me, please), and many sweet herbs. Really, many. Some sweet mustard. Finish: long, spicier yet, and more cerealy. Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, spicy bread… Comments: triple bang. Gives you faith in Japanese whisky. SGP:561 - 91 points.

Yamazaki ‘Sherry Cask 2013’ (48%, OB)

Yamazaki ‘Sherry Cask 2013’ (48%, OB) Five stars Yep, this is the small batch that was voted the best whisky in the world by one single man, some wee news that all the PR agencies and lazy newswires have then propagated all over the world, which led to the ridiculous and much distorted idea that Japanese whisky was the best in the world. Just ask any unlearned, they still believe that, so no wonder there are so many fake Japanese whiskies today (foreign whisky labelled as Japanese because of some very liberal laws over there - and with proper kanjis, Noh or Kabuki stuff, and cherry blossom). But let’s try to remove that huge pile of BS from our minds, and simply check this wee NAS baby. Colour: reddish coffee. Nose: indeed, indeed. Great nose, even if we’re closer to some old Port Mourant or something. It is a little simple, in fact, but that stresses the roundness and the immediacy of the sweet sherry profile. Polished wood, prunes, chocolate, and repeat. Yamazaki 18 is/was more complex for sure, but there… Mouth: a rather jammy, but wonderfully spicy arrival. It’s a Christmas cake, really, with dried bananas, black raisins, dried figs, and that’s pretty all. No, perhaps a little maraschino as well. Finish: rather long and a little thick. Orange marmalade and prunes, plus just ‘ideas’ of miso soup and some coffee. Not saying that because the whisky’s Japanese, mind you. Comments: I perfectly understand why someone would declare that this is his favourite whisky. I would say it’s simple (we’re far from the glorious old Scottish sherry monsters, and there would be hundreds of examples), but on the other hand, it’s totally perfect in its thick simplicity. So I will not start to argue, but psst, I liked the Chichibu even better. SGP:651 - 90 points.

(thank you Marlene)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Japanese I've tasted so far






Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed