Yoichi 25, 1983-2009, Japanese oak matured, 58.9% – SMWS

It’s been ages since I reviewed any of the samples from the SMWS I have sitting on my to-taste shelf. This has to do with a lot of ‘commercial’ samples I got which I handle on a higher priority basis.

To think I should start with a Yoichi is beyond any reasonable thought, but these are the tasting notes I had lying around. For ages. I probably wrote them around Christmas or early in January.

So Yoichi, peated and Japanese oak matured. That should be good right? I love Yoichi, usually. This has to do with the fact that they’re way up north in Japan, out of the way for any other distillery, and they are the last distillery that I know of that still used charcoal to heat their stills. The character is something I have not come across in any other whisky so far.

Yoichi 25.

Yoichi 25. “Not peat for peat’s sake”. Image from Whiskybase

Really big, and peaty. There is a light spiciness with all spice and a hint of vegemite. Also barley with big hints of smoked and grilled fruit.

The palate is really sharp. No surprise, this happens often in older Japanese whiskies. It has smoke and chipotle pepper, but also barley and charcoal. There is also a touch of bitterness and it’s rather complex all together. Greasy charcoal (like it has some barbecue dripping on it). It’s very tasty, but it demands a lot of attention.

The finish is surprisingly gentle. Still pretty sharp but nowhere near what the palate offered. Smoke and charcoal again, with that greasy touch. It’s not really long, but long enough.

This is a big whisky. Unfortunately, I had only one wee sample because of this kind of stuff I would really love to own a bottle. Or a case. There’s quite a bit going on and contrary to a lot of single malts, most of it is happening on the palate instead of on the nose.

It proves that Yoichi makes some stunning drams, that are a lot of fun when you can taste single barrels. The regular vattings are very good too, but way out of most people’s league (financially that is). To think that this bottle was only just over € 100…

Yoichi 25, 116.15, 09.1983-05.2009, Japanese oak matured, 58.9% – SMWS

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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