Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 3

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

July 27, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 3/8
We've got one of those peated Akkeshis, and then perhaps some Mars…

Akkeshi 'Kanro' (55%, OB, Japan, 15000 bottles, 2020)

Akkeshi 'Kanro' (55%, OB, Japan, 15000 bottles, 2020) Four stars and a half
This baby was heavily marketed – hence available – in France last year but it looks like everything's been sold out. The story's pretty simple, 'this is like an Islay distillery, only in Japan'. Why not, short stories being the best? Colour: gold. Nose: ha, I'm immediately reminded of a young peated Ben Nevis we had the other day (not sure whether we'll publish it before or after this one though) and that was reeking of smoked bacon. So huge bacon, rather huge 'new tyres', scuba diving suit, Vicks Vaporub, eucalyptus, green pesto, kelp, boat oil and just old tarry ropes. Great fun here, let us get on with this unusual Japanese baby… With water: oh, it's almost closing. Stewed zucchinis? That's funny… Mouth (neat): thick, heavy, concentrated, and pretty excellent. Essential oils, herbs, leaves, fruits, myrtle, eucalyptus, bear's garlic, turmeric, Thai basil… A lot of action in this one; we approve. With water: remains open this time, just as thick, spicy, mentholy, pleasantly heavy-ish, on some kind of mentholated and smoked coffee-flavoured toffee. Yep my friend. Finish: really long, rather on mentholy spices and with the expected citrus in the aftertaste. Salted lemons and a little mezcal, while the bacon's back too. Comments: I'm a fan of this one, it's totally an un-boring malt whisky. Great fun and high quality given the age.
SGP:564 - 89 points.

I say young peat calls for more young peat…

Mars 'Tsunuki Peated' (50%, OB, Japan, 14830 bottles, 2020)

Mars 'Tsunuki Peated' (50%, OB, Japan, 14830 bottles, 2020) Four stars and a half
A blend of 2016 and 2017 peated distillates bottled in 2020. Very young, obviously, so I suppose some extra-care was given to 'wood technology'. Now why and how they all manage to sell their baby peaters for the price of three to four bottles of Ardbeg Ten, I don't know. Colour: straw. Nose: not a big peater at all, this is almost discreet, on chalk, limestone, wool, mushrooms, crushed bananas and old papers. Strictly nothing against this, having said that. Oh do I also notice hints of tinned sardines in olive oil? With water: oh mud and wool, that just always works. Mouth (neat): excellent, just much narrower and shier than the extravagant, quite bombastic Akkeshi. Tight smoked lemons and herbs, green riesling (or crazy ultra-green chenin blanc), flints and lemon curd… With water: sweet green fruits, ripe gooseberries and all that. Plums, grapes, rhubarb, apples, physalis… Finish: rather long and very perfect. Menthol. Comments: I would say the actual advent of Japanese whisky did not happen twenty or fifteen years ago; it's happening now. Brilliant young whisky.
SGP:455 - 89 points.

  And the real pioneer was…

Chichibu 10 yo 2009/2019 (61.9%, OB, Japan, Ghost series, bourbon, cask #554, 157 bottles)

Chichibu 10 yo 2009/2019 (61.9%, OB, Japan, Ghost series, bourbon, cask #554, 157 bottles) Five stars
Why do these now go for £3,500.00 at auctions? Shouldn't we tax all these crazy transactions and send the moneys to Haiti, Sudan or Afghanistan? Colour: deep gold. Nose: we're happy because this is the choice of kings, I mean simply bourbon instead of all those unnecessary flavourings done for fools. Dead wood, moss, mushrooms, pistachios, plantains and manioc, focaccia, croissants, wee artichokes… This is really complex and yet epic. And f***ing smart. With water: oh! Many herbs, thyme, mint, rosemary, sage, borage, verbena,… I'm even finding buttered garden peas. How very English, no? Mouth (neat): extraordinary, even at almost 62% vol. Full-class grassy, bready, herbal and fruity combo, but at 62% we won't push our luck… With water: superb, just a tad simpler, which comes unexpected. Mashed fruits and vegetables, maize bread, masala…  Finish: long, more on citrus. Lemongrass. Comments: that's the thing with these wee wonders, you need at least a PhD in pipette handling to catch their very substance. I'm almost siding with the bottlers who rather believe in 'ready-to-drink' bottling strengths. Such as 57.1% ;-). Nah, great, great Chichibu, but I'm wondering if we couldn't have gone even higher…
SGP:562 - 91 points.

(Thanks a lot Chris, Werry)


Today's Podium

Chichibu 10 yo 2009/2019 (61.9%, OB, Japan, Ghost series, bourbon, cask #554, 157 bottles)
Mars 'Tsunuki Peated' (50%, OB, Japan, 14830 bottles, 2020)
Akkeshi 'Kanro' (55%, OB, Japan, 15000 bottles, 2020)

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







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