Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 8

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!

August 5, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 8/8
We ended the latest session with a finished NAS from Nikka's Miyagikyo, so let's keep the momentum going… But I swear these will be the last Japanese on WF for a long while...

Miyagikyo 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 1890 bottles, 2018)

Miyagikyo 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 1890 bottles, 2018) Four stars
Apparently, that's cream sherry, so a blend of oxidative sherry (oloroso an all) with PX. Colour: deep gold. Nose: peonies and copper coins, I would say, then blood oranges and walnuts. A little hoisin, slivovitz, wee whiffs of struck matches, black raisins, garden peat, a little pipe tobacco from an old leather pouch, whiffs of old tools (in an old toolbox in an old garage)… Cherry stem tea… This is nice. Mouth: naturally, this is very good, leafier and more leathery than your average sherried malt, more herbal too, with overripe gooseberries and many dried fruits (dates first, then raisins and figs). Keeps unfolding with charry liqueur (guignolet) and many smaller exotic herbal touches, sandalwood, nori, yuzu, and even something a little coastal. Honey-and-soy-glazed unagi? And why not? Finish: rather long, leafier. Some herbal tea that you would have kept for too long in an old clay teapot – or something like that. Comments: hate that it's NAS but frankly, it's an excellent malt. €180-excellent? Well well well…
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Let's keep following the path, I guess you've noticed that there was always a clear relation between the previous whisky and the next one. Hey, did you notice?... Another example…

Yoichi 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 3132 bottles, 2018)

Yoichi 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 3132 bottles, 2018) Four stars
This was finished in 'cream' sherry' too. Cream ain't anything special, unless it's very old, and cream plus peat may well ignite world war III. The good news is that Yoichi's only lightly peated, and that it was only a one-year finishing, so WWIII will wait. Colour: deep gold. Nose: nah, it worked. Tobacco, eucalyptus, walnut liqueur, pecan pie, vieille prune, and even some kind of note of some kind of cognac. Korean plum wine, old brandy de Jerez, chocolate sauce, and echoes of some old Scotch malt, let me rack my brain… Yeah, I remember, some old Glenfiddichs were like this. Early 1970s distillations, sherry… And patchouli. Mouth: fuller than its bro the Miyagikyo, yet kind of tighter, certainly earthier, with some sides that remind me of the Nikka Pure Malt Black from twenty years ago. Those were lovely wee bottles. Chocolate, black tea, walnut wine, light peat, marmalade, a tiny drop of teriyaki sauce. Finish: rather long and rather more on tobacco and Assam tea. Comments: bad Q/P ratio but indeed it's a very lovely drop.
SGP:452 - 87 points.

Our last Japanese for the time-being…

Yoichi 'Bourbon Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 2934 bottles, 2018)

Yoichi 'Bourbon Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 2934 bottles, 2018) Four stars
Hope this is not a vanilla bomb, but we all know that they know how to do it… Colour: gold. Nose: ah well it is not a vanilla bomb. We're rather finding bergamots and yuzu once again, marmalade, blancmange, banana wine, gooseberries, only then vanilla pods and a little strawberry yoghurt that we had already found in other Yoichis a few days ago. What it doesn't quite have is p.e.a.t.; isn't Yoichi peated? Mouth: easy, rather soft, a tad liqueury and too much on fruit juices (greengages and grapes), but let's be honest, this is good. We're somewhat in Kavalan ex-bourbon territory. Apples, guavas and vanilla, with a mild lemony peat and some white pepper. Finish: long and very peppery this time. A tad biting. Wasabi? Comments: unquestionably very good, I was about to add 'of course', but maybe a little soulless. Not orgasmic malt whisky - but the price was a tad pornographic. Maybe not a drop that the cognoscenti will remember forever (and ever, and ever, and ever…) Oh I'm sure you got the picture.
SGP:552 - 85 points.

Last minute bonus...

We couldn't leave the Japanese Games without having tried a Karuizawa, don't you agree?

Karuizawa 1968/2010 (61.1%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, cask #6955, 210 bottles)

Karuizawa 1968/2010 (61.1%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, cask #6955, 210 bottles) Five stars
A very expensive bottle now (way north of €20,000), which goes to show, once more, that the value of a whisky does not quite lie in its packaging. Indeed I've tried this baby before but that was another bottle and a long time ago. What's more, I did an online 'masterclass' (yeah right, a tasting session) with this baby at Whisky Live Paris 2020 - there was also Springbank 12/100 Samaroli, Macallan 1962 and HP 1959; yeah a mean line-up – and I was having some leftovers. So let's be serious, avoid any forms of evaporation and just, as we sometimes say, kill it. Just hope we haven't got that Israeli spyware installed in our devices. Kill it was a figure of speech, officer! Colour: deep gold. Nose: it may have further improved after a good ten years in glass, becoming a tad rounder and better polished than it used to be. What's sure is that it is some kind of resin, eucalyptus and menthol bomb, with many sawn hardwoods singing in the back. Stunning notes of high-class gravy too. With water: decomposes into myriads of tiny herbal and floral notes, plus anything around umami and osmazome (meats and fats). Mouth (neat): extremely heavy, oriental, mentholated, with many molecules ending with -ol and even a feeling of high-ester Jamaican whisky, I mean, rum, with something glue-y and acetic, almost acetone-y. Where was the muck pit at Karuizawa? With water: some tropical fruits chiming in, more mints and herbs, heavy meads, ciders and beers… Finish: long and certainly 'oaky', but there's oak that tastes like oak from Home Depot, and these oaks. Comments: marvellously dry. Score unchanged.
SGP:472 - 94 points.

Sayonara and see you soon, Japan!


Today's Podium

Karuizawa 1968/2010 (61.1%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, cask #6955, 210 bottles)
Yoichi 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 3132 bottles, 2018)
Miyagikyo 'Sherry Wood Finish' (46%, OB, Japan, 1890 bottles, 2018)

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







Whiskyfun's Home