Yamazaki Limited Edition 2016, 43%

Mind that this is not the one that got the rave review from Jim Murray and went up in price from some € 80 to € 1500 in a few months.

I have been able to try the previous two releases in Yamazaki’s Limited Edition series, thansk to whisky buddy BP. I really enjoyed them and was actually positively surprised that they were so good. The surprise happened because most Japanese whiskies have lost their age statement and are now fairly random bottlings, or so I though.

The whisky consists of young Yamazaki from bourbon barrels and over 20 year old whisky from port and sherry casks. All from American oak, if I read the press release correctly.

Oak. A massive lot of oak. Quite spicy as well. Dry, with tree bark and almond. Quite gentle and complex with ‘that Japanese style’ thingy going on. Quite heavy on the spirit.

The palate is dry too, and it feels very heavy (it’s actually quite light, but this is an alternative fact). What I’m trying to say is that it tastes quite light, but feels rather heavy. Smooth, with a lot of oak and some sweet and ripe fruit. Plums and the oakiness of red wine. Some powdered spices with sweet cinnamon and clove.

The finish is unsurprisingly dry and long. Smooth with pink peppercorns, lots of oak, wine and sherry oak. Still, quite clean.

While this was an expensive whisky at € 200 a bottle, it’s quite worth it since it is utterly delicious. The ‘Japanese style’ which I think is, in this case, a combination of sherry casks, port casks, plums and their heavy spirit, is gorgeous and well represented here. I thoroughly love that style.

The fruit, spices and oak are very well balanced and it doesn’t feel young at all, even though there’s some pre-teen whisky in here, most likely. I don’t keep a wish list, but if I did, this would be on it!

I only had a sample from my own bottle-share. Now I wish I kept more!


Yamazaki Limited Edition 2016, 43%. Available for some € 200 around the web


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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