I have had this bottle in my collection for about 4 years, I think. Therefore, and since it was dwindling not too fast at the end I thought it time to empty it. Part three of this week’s empty-bottle-project.
Not much to say about the bottling, but the distillery is massive. Automatically rotating cask machines that transport the casks through the warehouse so they all mature in a similar way and the upper and lower levels don’t differ too much. I believe their warehouses are supposed to hold half a million casks.
Sandalwood at first, with a good dollop of sherry. Not too thick or too dry but very well balanced between fruit, wood, dryness and malt. Based on scent I’d say there are some mizunara casks in there too, hence the sandalwood. Not sure though. I get fresh orange wedges, coffee, cocoa and cinnamon.
Lots of wood again, as well as fruit. Dried tropical fruits and fresh citrus fruits. A great combination. Quite meaty too, with a hint of chili peppers while still being friendly on the palate.
The finish has a sudden boost of the sandalwood notes, before that evaporates and leaves a regular more oaky note. Some malt, and cocoa notes before it fades. That doesn’t take too long, but the way.
It doesn’t happen that often that I really, really like a whisky below 46% but this one handles it very well. The balance between the flavours is stunning without it getting too boring or level. My guess is this is a mix of American oak, European oak (definetly) and some Mizunara oak.
The only drawback of this stuff is that it is getting more expensive rapidly. I bought my bottle at € 85 at a not too cheap shop, now I see it at € 125 at the normally somewhat cheaper stores. The same happened with Yamazaki 18 of course, and in both cases it is still a great buy.
Hakushu 18, OB, 43.5%, available at The Whisky Exchange at £ 105.