Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 1

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


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2021


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

July 23, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 1/8
A pretty wild bunch of various Japanese whiskies, three at a time, for eight days, to celebrate the courage of the Japanese people. Let's see what we can find… Excuse me? Of course this is sport, now please dont drink and throw javelins, thanks.

Nikka 'Coffey Malt' (45%, OB, Japan, +/-2021)

Nikka 'Coffey Malt' (45%, OB, Japan, +/-2021) Two stars and a half
This NAS baby is very popular in France, perhaps because people here believe it's made out of coffee (of course I am joking). I rather liked this expression last time I tried it in 2015, but had thought it was a little 'easy-easy' (WF 82), perhaps because of the column still (a.k.a. Coffey). Colour: gold. Nose: really a lot of UHU glue, cellulosic varnish, sawdust, then green tea and lemon zests, then coconut cream. Extremely unusual, you really need to enjoy varnish in the nose of your malt. By the way, not sure you could call some malt not distilled in discontinuous pot stills 'malt whisky' in Scotland. Unless I'm wrong, that would be grain whisky, even if it's malt. Again, unless I haven't been paying attention all these years… Mouth: light and easy, certainly closer to some grain whisky indeed, with a little bourbon and even light rum as well. Rather thin even if there's some creaminess as well, and once again, a little lacquer and limoncello. Finish: I'd swear there is a little café latte indeed. Or something weird by Starbucks. Comments: I'm really having trouble with this style and could not not think of… Havana Club. Yeah or Haig Club.
SGP:430 - 78 points.

Let's make amend subito presto…

Yoichi 20 yo (52%, OB, Japan, +/-2005)

Yoichi 20 yo (52%, OB, Japan, +/-2005) Five stars
Right, we've tried this wonder by Nikka several times already, but this is another bottle you understand, while life's too short for bad whisky (and bad wine, bad tea, bad coffee, bad brandy…) By the way, this is one of the few bottles that started the Japanese craze… Colour: deep gold. Nose: wow, extremely rich, camphory, deeply herbal and exotic, with notes of sawn teak wood, a family pack of macadamia nuts, some diesel oil, bandages, crème brulée… How unusual and complex indeed! I think bottle aging did it much good and I'll probably have to raise my score. With a drop of water: many fresh nuts, a touch of wax, and this little tarriness that's often made me think of Ardbeg. Mouth (neat): flabbergasting richness yet with a lot of elegance, always around teak and other wood oils, bananas and papayas, tobacco, overripe apples and pears, a drop of varnish once again, vin jaune, walnuts, camphor, tar (touches)… With water: absolutely perfect and, I'll say it again, rather a little Ardbeggian. We're talking 1970s Ardbeg, naturally. Finish: rather long, with stunning honeys mixed with eucalyptus honey and once again, a little tar. Comments: just splendid.
SGP:463 - 92 points (up from 91).

We said a trio, so perhaps another rather legendary Yoichi?...

Yoichi 1987/2007 (55%, OB, Japan, 2000 bottles)

Yoichi 1987/2007 (55%, OB, Japan, 2000 bottles) Four stars
In truth I had tried this one around twelve years ago and was a little disappointed (WF 85). But this is another bottle and once again, bottle aging may have improved it. Colour: golden amber. Nose: typically varnishy, but absolutely not as varnishy as the humble Coffey Malt. On the other hand, it is tarter and smokier than the 20, perhaps a little rougher, more on piney woods (sandal, cedar) and green walnuts. Wood still a little loudish, perhaps, a little leather (new shoes)… With water: gets green, with some coal tar, latex, bitter beers, rubber bands, raw wool, tyres, smoky tea… Were at the Scuba Shop! Mouth: absolutely huge, biting, almost aggressive, with really a lot varnish this time, peat smoke, cracked pepper, grapefruits, lemon, tar… It is a fighter. With water: pretty similar, even greener. More medicinal as well (cough medicine). A feeling of smoked and mentholated marmalade. Finish: rather long, rather on eucalyptus, which is not uncommon with Japanese whiskies. Comments: I totally agree 85 was a little too low, but after twelve more years of bottle aging, I wouldn't say it really worked its way to the top. A great whisky, but with a few dissonances, would I say.
SGP:564 - 87 points.

(Merci François, Nicolas)


Today's Podium

Yoichi 20 yo (52%, OB, Japan, +/-2005)
Yoichi 1987/2007 (55%, OB, Japan, 2000 bottles)
Nikka 'Coffey Malt' (45%, OB, Japan, +/-2021)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Japanese whiskies we've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home