About a million years ago I went to a tasting of six Japanese whiskies at De Whiskykoning in Den Bosch. For some reason I completely forgot to blog about it, and that is not doing justice to some of the terrific drams that were poured!
Hakushu 12, 43.5%
A bit of an easy dram. Quite smooth, floral and light. It feels a bit green with leaves and trees and such. Some fruitiness, with spices and cereal later on.
Karuizawa Malt, 40%
The standard edition Karuizawa, apart from the fact that almost nobody stocks it. Its a little dry with dried peaches and European oak. It gets lighter quite quickly. The flavour is somewhat thin but it builds to a rather traditional, but young, sherry matured whisky.
Miyagikyo 15, 45%
Miyagikyo is the distillery that was formerly known as Sendai and is located in the area that was struck most by the earthquake. Light sherry with lots of fruit, peach, apricot. Also wood spices like nutmet and cinnamon. The taste is slightly alcoholic and less sweet than I expected. A hint of wood before a long finish with not too many new flavours popping up.
Yoichi 20, 52%
Yoichi is one of my favorite ‘distilleries’, if you count the whisky. Unfortunately, I have not been able to visit yet 😉 The nose starts off with soup spices, wood, banana and sweet citrus fruits. Also some burnt caramel. The taste is fierce and dry with tannines, wood, dried orange zests and quite oily. The finish has some cereal and sweet fruit.
Taketsuru 21, 45%
Nikka’s blended malt whisky which recently has won many ‘blended malt whisky of the year’ awards. A hint of alcohol, dry with dusty cereal, straw and pear peels. A rather thin flavour (especially after the Yoichi), quite some wood and almost no sweetness. The finish offers charcoal and singed wood.
No rating, as it was terribly beaten down by the Yoichi. I’ll taste this again someday.
SMWS 119.12 (Yamazaki), 16yo, 54%
The nose starts off with some glue and tannines. Quite bitter as well with wood, anise, wood polish, leather and liquorice. The dry leatheriness continues when tasting this, but some sweet fruits are added. The finish offers wood polish again with sweet citrus fruits and plums.