Etikettarkiv: Japanese Whisky Review

The Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve

ABV: 43 %
Origin:
Japan
Type:
Single malt
Bottles in collection:
0
Emptied bottles:
0
Impression:
3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. Honey and a vanilla oakiness sit on top of green grapes and apples and there are marzipan and pine notes somewhere in between. There’s also a veil of cooling mint surrounding everything else. The whole thing comes out very perfumey and it feels a bit young. After some time in the glass a lime note starts to emerge from the fruitiness. It feels a bit over-engineered, but it’s still a decent nose.

Mouth: It starts out extremely mild and it never really picks up speed. Fudge and a dusty honey sweetness arrive first and then the pine returns. There’s a strong coconut flavour and it’s much sweeter than on the nose. The fruitiness is sitting in the back and it’s now leaning towards oranges and just a small hint of raspberries. It still comes through as very perfumey.

Finish: A minty fresh start soon moves over to make room for a dusty oak. The fudge and the citrus freshness are still intact but pushed back into the background. There’s a top layer of honey and coconut. The marzipan returns and creates a bridge between the fudge and the oak. It’s a dry slightly bitter oakiness with a miniscule flavour of hazelnuts. This is an extremely mild and approachable whisky, but it is a bit uneventful and underwhelming.

Additional information
Hakushu distillery is owned by Suntory. This is the entry level in their core range. The content isn’t disclosed. It’s a mix of different ages and cask types.

Suntory Whisky Toki

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Japan
Type: Blended
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a nice rounded layer of honey and vanilla with a thin fruity and floral layer on the outside. In the center there’s a mix of a harsher grain spirit and a delicate malt note. After a while it sort of balance itself out and everything comes together to create a more compact experience. The fruitiness moves forward and it’s a mixed bag of green and red apples. There’s also something in the background which presents itself as something a bit riper. This is a nice nose which improves greatly with time in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with a hit of the grain spirit as well as a thin green fruitiness. It’s dry and bitter with some assorted cooking spices in there as well. It’s less sweet compared to the nose, but the honey and vanilla is still in there. With time the spicyness shifts towards a black pepper note. It feels a bit harsh and very unbalanced. The oakiness is in there and it seem to be connected to the bitterness.

Finish: The finish is mainly focused around a bitter center part and a peppermint floating around on top. The fruitiness is still in there as well as the sweetness. When it starts to fade, a thin note of orange peel pops up somewhere down the line but mainly it’s just a bitter and slightly nutty oakiness which is left behind. It’s a hazelnut/almond nuttiness but it’s too little too late. This is a decent blend with a nice nose. There are some good casks involved, but it still leaves a lot more to offer.

Additional information
Toki is primarily a blend of Hakushu malt aged in American oak and grain whisky from Chita. The blend also includes single malt from Yamazaki aged in American and Spanish oak.

Nikka From The Barrel

ABV: 51.4 %
Origin: Japan
Type: Blended
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and herbal. At first the high ABV together with the grain spirit create a cloud of acetone on top of a sweet vanilla butterscotch. The backbone is quite earthy with dry soil and dried herbs. There is an outside layer of assorted dark and dried fruits, but they are no way dominating the whole. There’s also a speck of dust floating around. This is a ”something good/something bad” kind of nose.

Mouth: It starts out very sweet and with a big vanilla flavour. After a few seconds the earthy, dry soil note returns and so do the dried herbs. There’s an anise note coming through quite early and it’s not especially pleasant. It sort of switches towards pine and dust after a few seconds which doesn’t help. There is a nice hint of ripe fruits coming through, but it’s not taking any steps forward. It’s way milder on the palate than on the nose. The oak do arrive, but it’s covered by the pine and anise.

Finish: A cloud of the acetone passes by and then it goes straight to a slightly astringent and vanilla sweet oakiness. There’s still an outer layer of dark and dried fruits and they’re more present in the finish. The oak delivers an extremely fresh oakiness, but there is still a dust note left behind. The pine note return in the finish and makes it take a turn for the worse. This is a well made blend with some good components, but it’s still suffering from its big grain spirit part.

Additional information
This blend was created in 1985. It consists of 40 % malt and 60 % grain. A batch is made from 120 casks, mostly first fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels mixed with sherry butts and refill hogsheads. The whisky is aged between 10-12 years, and the leading malt is Miyagikyo from the Sendai Distillery and whisky from the Yoichi distillery is also included.

Akashi White Oak NoAge

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Japan
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity and very floral. At first there are baked red apples, marzipan and a bouquet of flowers. The background consists of fudge, vanilla and a thick base of honey. A thin but noticable savory note can also be found in the back. A thin veil of dust covers everything. It’s quite nice on the nose.

Mouth: It’s very mild at first but soon a small spicyness kicks in. Anise and dry soil sit together with apples, honey and fudge. Bitterness comes through quite early and it brings some astringency with it. When the oakiness comes through it sits in the back of the palate. It’s very different from the nose. Not as sweet and quite unpleasant. It feels underaged and a bit harsh.

Finish: The finish is quite uneventful. A small whiff of alcohol with a small visit to all the things the mouth brought and then going directly to the oakiness. There are some bitter notes lingering with coffee and a small bunch of walnuts. A hint of the savory note returns somewhere down the line. It’s a bit disappointing overall since the nose makes promises the taste can’t keep.

Additional information
White Oak is the distillery name and not cask type declaration. It’s called NoAge, but it’s about 5 years old. It’s matured for 3 years in american ex-bourbon oak barrels and 2 years in ex-sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.