Mars Komagatake, The Revival 2011, 58%

With a name and age like this you would be inclined to think this is some joke from Glenglassaugh. Or maybe GlenDronach, but then it would have to be older. Five times older to be precise.

This sample was a surprise from Shai who participated in some bottle share I didn’t know about. I was part of a Google group for a while but I couldn’t say ‘no’ enough and ended up spending lots of money on not-really-wanted samples.

This three year old would most likely have been one to skip though. I am wont to pass on the most interesting samples for some reason. A bit like buying bottles that sometimes are sub par to what I could have gotten for the same amount of money.

But anyway, I have this one sitting here. I should have tried it a while ago, like some others I have in store. I hope to go through them in the coming months, as said before. So far, it’s going quite well and I’ve actually emptied more samples than I’ve added to the stash. I consider that a good thing.

The Shinsu Mars distillery in Japan (duh) has been closed for a while between 1992 and 2011. Quite strange since the place was only founded in 1985. This whisky is the first release since the reopening and has a low level of peat (8ppm).

Shinshu Mars Revival 2011. Image from Whiskybase

Shinshu Mars Revival 2011. Image from Whiskybase

The peat is discernible but quite light, as is the spirit itself. There is not much cask influence but the balance between oak, spirit and peat is nicely done. There’s a grassy note with some light vanilla notes and a scent of heather too. The peat is a bit like burning straw. The alcohol is not pungent at all.

The palate has more alcohol than the nose, but still is quite light, even though it’s bottled at 58%. The peat is still grassy and straw like, with hints of heather and apple. There’s a certain minerality as well. Slate, iron, that kind of stuff.

The finish shows the youth of the whisky most, with more spirity notes. Not overly sweet, but there’s some unrefined alcohol, and a certain feel of cloying sugars. The alcohol is still light and it’s a slightly dry whisky, but again, not overly so. The bourbon influence is light with vanilla, lemon, puff pastry and some baked apple.

A strange one, this. Actually it’s quite awesome for something this young. There’s quite a lot going on and absolutely nothing to complain about. Obviously it lacks a bit of depth and complexity, but all flavors that are present are well integrated.

In Japan when it was released it used to cost some € 80 and it currently is available in Europe for € 130 (La Maison Du Whisky has it). This being a Japanese whisky I am actually surprised the price isn’t higher than this.

To summarize this. I love this dram. It’s not overly complex but dangerously drinkable and has some really nice flavors that belie its age. Getting a sample is highly recommended!

Mars Komagatake, The Revival 2011, 58%. Available at LMDW for € 130

Thanks to Shai for the sample! Loving it!


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.
This entry was posted in - Japanese Whisky, Mars Komagatake, Shinshu Mars and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mars Komagatake, The Revival 2011, 58%

  1. Interesting, having had the mars 10 and still yet to try the 20 or so i have at home this would make a nice comparison..

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