Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 5

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

August 2, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 5/8
We've just been at Mars's Tsunuki facilities, so maybe time to have some Mars from their other facilities…

Mars Maltage 'Cosmo' (43%, OB, blend, Wine Cask Finish, 2020)

Mars Maltage 'Cosmo' (43%, OB, blend, Wine Cask Finish, 2020) Two stars and a half
Some proper malt whisky from Shinshu (in the Japanese Alps they say) blended with Scotch and flavoured with red wine, apparently. They wouldn't tell you which one, could be cheap Zin… In our book, that's the unterwhisky category, but we may well be a little too opinionated, are we? No! Colour: apricot. Nose: of course they know how to do it, to prepare the casks, avoid any lousy winey notes (which were to be found in some early finishings circa 2000, remember?) but there still is some feintness, some sourness, a feeling of artificial strawberry flavouring (M&S yoghurt), also peonies and lotus tea. It's intriguing, it's funny, it's entertaining, but I wouldn't nose another glass. Mouth: it's okay, really, this heavy caramel isn't unpleasant, neither are the notes of blueberry tarte and muffins, but in my book we're a little too far from 'malt whisky'. Finish: medium, on hawthorn and rosehip teas. Caramel and strawberries in the aftertaste. Comments: as John McEnroe used to say, what's the point? Not a bad drink at all, on the contrary; but it is not quite the kind of whisky I prefer.
SGP:641 - 78 points.

Since we're having experimental ones…

Okayama '6 months aged' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017)

Okayama '6 months aged' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017) Two stars
This baby whisky stems from the Miyashita sake brewery where, naturally, they have the purest water in the world. Apparently. Colour: gold. Nose: hot, naturally, but some lovely fermentary aromas came through, together with dried fermented fruits (litchis?) and something metallic. Olives. It does sometimes remind me of shochu, but I know very little about shochu. With water: no changes. Stones, olives, beers, flints, stems, lees… Mouth (neat): hot, fermentary, on many dried fruits and some thick sweet ale. We've known some slivovitzes that were a bit like this. Does not quite feel like 6 months old malt whisky. With water: becomes a tad prickly. Zwetschke liqueur and ginger tonic. Finish: rather long, sour and sweet. Comments: very interesting but we're extremely far from any whisky orthodoxy. Nah, it's rather challenging, in truth.
SGP:660 - 72 points.

Six more months…

Okayama '1 year old' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017)

Okayama '1 year old' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017) Three stars
All right then… Colour: amber. Nose: more caramel, dried figs, dried bananas and sultanas. Oriental pastry, angel hair, makrouts, orange blossom water, molasses honey… What's sure is that it gained much richness and roundness from those extra-months. With water: thick rich beer. Let me brag a wee bit… fifteen years old Westvleteren 8! Mouth (neat): much better than the 6mo. More dried fruits indeed, including some fermented ones, arrack, fig wine, chutneys, mead… With water: really pretty good now, we're reaching rancio territories, Banyuls, young Pedro Ximenez, Catalunya dulce rancios… Finish: rather long and indeed all on sweet rancio. Not sure this was what they've been aiming for, but this is quite a (very mild) sensation. Comments: wait, Okayama, isn't that a Spanish word?
SGP:740 - 80 points.

I agree this wasn't the best Japanese session ever, but stay tuned…

(Thanks again, Chris)


Today's Podium

Okayama '1 year old' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017)
Mars Maltage 'Cosmo' (43%, OB, blend, Wine Cask Finish, 2020)
Okayama '6 months aged' (60%, OB, Japan, 20cl, +/-2017)

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







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