When I sold my last bottle of Hanyu a while ago I agreed upon a partial trade as well as moneys. Luckily, when I went to drop off the bottle BP just got a lot of new Japanese whiskies in. Apparently he’s very big on that and a large chunk of his collection consists of Japanese whiskies.
A sample of many of these was taken home and I’ve been slowly working my way through them. This five year old Akashi bottling was part of that set. It’s a single cask for the Japanese market consisting of 1000 bottles from sherry cask 5117. The cask is made of Spanish Oak, which is a rarity nowadays.
I’ve tried White Oak bottlings in the past at events and I really liked them so I was kind of excited to try this one.
The nose gives away that this is a rather young spirit. Some sweet lemon and a very light wood influence. At some point I thought to get a whiff of peat, but that might have been a figment of my imagination. Some sulfur and leather too.
The palate is gentle at first, but after a few seconds it gets sharper with some white pepper. There’s barely any oak influence to have refined the spirit, although there is some vanilla. It’s creamy, greasy almost with some oily feel to it. A tad milky and some garden herbs like thyme and rosemary.
The finish is rather long and smooth. A tad sweet, like a dessert wine. Creamy too.
Well. What to say? I’m not a fan of this whisky. The nose is slightly off with that sulfur note (it’s not the good kind of sulfur that I most times like). The palate is better, but hugely inconsistent with the spirity notes not being refined by the oak yet, but the almost fatty notes don’t sit well with me.
I think this one has just been bottled at too young an age. With a couple of years some of the weird notes could maybe have been integrated more fully into a more consistent whisky with fewer off notes.
Still, it’s nice to try this, even just to know that not all Japanese whisky is worth the hundreds of euros paid for it.
White Oak 5yo, Single Cask 5117, Spanish Oak (sherry cask), Akashi series, 50%. This used to cost some € 85 for a 50cl bottle, but has gone up in price since its release.