Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 2

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

July 26, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 2/8
Since we were having some excellent Yoichis, let's have more if you don't mind…

Yoichi 'Apple Brandy Wood Finish' (47%, OB, Japan, 6700 bottles, 2020)

Yoichi 'Apple Brandy Wood Finish' (47%, OB, Japan, 6700 bottles, 2020) Four stars
I've seen this at €200, which left me flabbergasted. I mean, whisky flavoured with calvados and sold without any age statement? What's the idea? Having said that, the story goes like 'Mr Taketsuru used to sell apple juice while his first whiskies were maturing, so there's always been a strong relationship between Nikka and apples'. All right then, may I suggest a William Tell Edition next time? Colour: gold. Nose: you do feel some sweet cider if you nose deeply, otherwise a softer, easier maltiness on brioche and brown beer. Having said that, if you wait, you'll start to notice notes of mint (rubbed leaves), dill, fennel, menthol tobacco… Now the notes of apple brandy have almost disappeared. Touch of incense. Mouth: pretty good, if a tad 'crossover'. Sweeter, fruitier, really on sweet apples this time, then kirschwasser and a little crème de menthe. Some drops of that pink peppercorn liqueur that tourists bring back from… Wait, what is the country again? You say Scotland? Edinburgh??? Finish: medium, rather on walnut cake, with only a mild smokiness. Perhaps a little pastis in the aftertaste, as well as some green peat and some bitterness. Shoe polish. Comments: very good, very sweet, with an unusual combination (apples, mint, peat, aniseed). Now 'Japanese Whisky Of The Year'? To each her/his own.
SGP:653 - 86 points.

Yamazaki 12 yo (43%, OB, Japan, +/-2021)

Yamazaki 12 yo (43%, OB, Japan, +/-2021) Three stars
It's been ages, it was about time. No need to curb our enthusiasm, in the own words of Larry David. Colour: light gold. Nose: a little burnt wood, peelings, beers, butter, mashed potatoes and turnips, sawdust, autumn leaves… This is really dry; I'm almost finding spinach and eggplant. No fruits whatsoever in this nose. Mouth: much better on the palate, bigger, sweeter, with better beers and pear juice, quite some oak for sure, herbal teas, cinnamon, ginseng, then going towards eucalyptus, peppermint and, hold on, mizunara oak? Finish: a little short, rather on soft liquorice, with a few tropical fruits coming in late. Bananas, papayas and mint. Comments: I find it a little wobbly in the knees, to tell you the truth and not too flamboyant, but it is a fine drop. Needs time, for sure.
SGP:351 - 81 points.

Yamazakura Asaka 'The first' (50%, OB, Japan, 2019)

Yamazakura Asaka 'The first' (50%, OB, Japan, 2019) Four stars
Said to be the very first whisky distilled, aged, blended and bottled by the Asaka Distillery which is located north of Tokyo. In my book, the name Yamazakura is very shady because of some lousy foreign 'Japanese' whiskies, but only fools never change their mind. Colour: white wine. Nose: nice, bready, with touches of paraffin and white asparagus, green bananas, guavas (not unseen in very young malts), doughs, sweeter weissbeer… Well I do enjoy this. With water: nice, with wet plaster, potatoes, last year's apples, a pile of old magazines, a wee mustiness that's not unpleasant… So I repeat, this is nice. Mouth (neat): pretty good, with a few perfumy touches at first but the distillate's been well taken care of, with some singular mentholy fruits and several aromatic herbs. Some kind of Japanese herbal smoothie of high quality. With water: some mead and some sake kicking in., more white beers… Nicely fermentary. Finish: medium, rounded, on some kind of fruit beer. The aftertaste is a tad sugary. Comments: I'll say it, when I saw the name Yamazakura I pulled out my pistol and put it on the tasting table. That was not necessary at all, I'm very positively surprised.
SGP:542 - 86 points.

(Thank you Chris)


Today's Podium

Yamazakura Asaka 'The first' (50%, OB, Japan, 2019)
Yoichi 'Apple Brandy Wood Finish' (47%, OB, Japan, 6700 bottles, 2020)
Yamazaki 12 yo (43%, OB, Japan, +/-2021)

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







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