Yamazaki Limited Edition 2014, 43%

A while ago I reviewed the 2015 edition of Yamazaki’s Limited Edition. As with anything related to Japanese whisky, it was a rather popular post in last year’s statistics.

I might even have had the first review of that online. I know I was quick, to say the least. Me being quick is something of a contradiction, but on some rare occasions I even surprise myself.

Anyway, a friend of mine suddenly had this sitting on his shelf after a mate of his went to Japan for business. I think he brought this back for some 40 euros or so. Quite a shocker if you realize this stuff costs a multitude of that by the time it gets to Europe. Even then it sells out almost instantly.

But, as it happens, I rather like Yamazaki, and am not too shabby to nick a sample to review.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

On the nose it’s a tad feinty and heavy at first. Lots of wood influence with bourbon casks leading the way. Quite dry and spicy, beefy even. Maybe some mizunara casks involved too? The nose evolves to include plum wine and becomes very smooth. Very Yamazaki, so to say.

The palate is fairly sharp, for a whisky at 43%. Not as rich as expected, but still has a lot of flavor. It builds slightly with more and more (very good) oak influence. Wine, stewed fruits with plums and olives. Strangely it reminds me of ‘chicken Marbella’.

The finish is quintessential Yamazaki. Dry, with lots of oak, a combination of bourbon and mizunara. A lot of finish on the finish.

This, dear friends, is an awesome whisky. Even though that friend of mine is not known for having whisky at ‘drinking strength’, this is one of the better ones in his collection, I’d say. There’s a lot of depth and a lot of things to be discovered.

I especially like the slight savory meatiness and flavor of olives and stewed plums. It’s a bit of a weird combination but it works very well in this case. Part of the good combination comes from the kinds of oak that were used, I think.

Incredible whisky, at an incredible ‘original’ price. Currently this is available in The Netherlands for almost 300 bucks, and in Hong Kong for 200 euros.

According to info on Whiskybase the cask composition of this is as follows:

  • 20-year-old Yamazaki whiskies aged in sherry casks
  • 20-year-old Yamazaki whiskies aged in ex-port casks
  • a younger Yamazaki malt matured in American oak casks

So, no Mizunara, and I didn’t pick up on the port casks, nor the sherry casks. A powerful spirit, this Yamazaki!

Yamazaki Limited Edition 2014, 43%. Check for prices here.


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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