I had to look up what kind of Cask a Kiri cask is, but it turns out to be a Japanese white wine cask. This whisky was finished in that for two years, after maturing for the first three years in a European oak hogshead. A quite interesting but strange combination of casks, if I’ve ever seen one.
It was a tad more difficult to find this cask, since the ever trustworthy resource Whiskybase doesn’t have this one listed. Apparently that still happens as well (although I knew that since half the pending Willett bottle share isn’t listed either).
This cask was bottled for Gaia Flow, which seems to be a Japanese booze company. Not entirely sure what they do, their ‘About Us’ page mostly states that they ‘developer the culture of liquors in Japan’. Whatever that means.
The nose is full and rich. It’s got a light, but sharp sherry influence with plums and oak. Mostly baking spices which turn a little yeasty after a few seconds. Apart from that not much is happening.
The palate is sweet with that light sharpness again. Fruit and lots of oak. Spices, black pepper and chili pepper. Bread and mocha.
The finish has lots of sherry, and has some hints of iron, slate, cocoa and mezcal. A very interesting combination of flavors.
At the first sniff I wasn’t overjoyed by this whisky and expected a bit of a downer like the White Oak 5 year old I tried earlier. Luckily, this one builds and builds and it improves with some time in the glass.
Also, the palate and finish are much better than the nose made me expect. Especially the surprise hints of mezcal and minerals on the finish were a positive surprise. The palate caught me off guard with the hint of mocha.
It seems the combination of European oak (whether or not it actually contained sherry is unclear) and Japanese white wine casks works very well, I think. I’m surprised to find all these lovely flavors in a whisky that’s just five years old. I am quite happy that they state the age, though.
At € 38, this thing is a steal!
Eigashima 5yo, Kiri Cask, 58%, OB for Gaia Flow. Original RRP was just € 38 (for 50cl)