Google Olympic Japanese trios, Day 6

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

August 3, 2021



Olympic Japanese trios, Day 6/8
We'll simply go on with what we have… This lighter one, for example…

Kirin 'Housky' (40%, OB, Japan, Pure Malt, 1993)

Kirin 'Housky' (40%, OB, Japan, Pure Malt, 1993) Three stars
As I understand it this was a pure malt blend done in 1993 to celebrate Kirin's twenty years in whisky, made out of malt distilled in pot stills and malt distilled in a column still. Colour: light gold. Nose: easy and gentle, nothing too special, with some brioche, croissants, vanilla and beer. Mouth: better, with a little earth, lotus seeds, honey and popcorn. Now it would nosedive after twenty seconds, possibly because of the light strength. A wee feeling of incense. Finish: shortish but with a wee saltiness and notes of bananas. Nice profile. Comments: I was about to quote Karuizawa but I believe Kirin only bought it from Mercian in 2007. Well in the style of the cheap Karuis that were the norm before someone decided to single out the best casks and bottle them over a few years.
SGP:541 - 80 points.

We've got another new cat…

Kanosuke 24 mo 2018/2020 'New Born Peated' (58%, OB, Japan, white oak, 20cl)

Kanosuke 24 mo 2018/2020 'New Born Peated' (58%, OB, Japan, white oak, 20cl) Three stars
Straight from the city of Kagoshima, in the south of Kyushu, although the peated malt is imported from the UK. I'm not 100% sure it makes a lot of environmental sense to ship European malt to Japan and to reimport it as whisky, but hasn't the whisky world always done that? Colour: gold. Nose: rough and with really a lot of gritty, tannic oak. Some cherries and some pears too, plus a lot of wood smoke rather than straight peat. Water is needed, I would guess. With water: wood shavings, leaves, stems, green pepper, bitters, a touch of rubber and one of soap. I guess you need to earn this wee one… Mouth (neat): raw, on hot kirschwasser running from the still. Green smoke, pepper, green peppercorn, sour cherries… Well, indeed this is tough. With water: a little better, with some sweetness (Cherry Coke) popping out. Ginger tonic. Finish: long, extremely peppery and bitter. Comments: I'm sure the distillate's fine, but it looks like the oak's been pretty indomitable. I'm sure the right direction would be 'less oak'.  
SGP:274 - 70 points.

Another new cat to balance all this…

Shizuoka 2019/2020 (63.6%, OB Private for Whiskay, Japan, barrel, cask #2019-529) Five stars
Distilled in their ex-Karuizawa still. Let's see if that comes out (I'm joking…), now it should be very spirit-driven as it matured for only around 6 months. Loved what I could try this far. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: glue, marzipan, bitter almonds, olives, mezcal. This is unpeated. Lovely. With water: more of all that, word for word, it got only a tad easier and less dangerous. In theory… Mouth (neat): drinking varnish blended with limoncello and antifreeze. We should not drink this like that… With water: there, we tamed it. Well, barely… Big pears covered with glue and antiseptic, perhaps acetone, which I'm sure sounds pretty repulsive, while it is not, not at all. Huge fan of these styles. This should get splendid at 10/12 years of age. Finish: long, glue-y and diesely. Lots of congeners in this one, it seems. Bitter almonds in the aftertaste. Comments: loved the first Shizuoka I could try as it came as a huge surprise. Love this one too, even if the surprise is over. Fantastic varnishy distillate.
SGP:462 - 90 points.
(Picture and data updated)


Today's Podium

Shizuoka 2019/2020 (63.6%, OB Private for Whiskay, Japan, barrel, cask #2019-529)
Kirin 'Housky' (40%, OB, Japan, Pure Malt, 1993)
Kanosuke 24 mo 2018/2020 'New Born Peated' (58%, OB, Japan, white oak, 20cl)

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







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