Monday 18th June saw a merry group of tweeters group together for a journey into Japanese Whisky. A first for me and many others I imagine…
The first whisky we were going to try was the Yamazakura 963 21 year old bottled at 58%.
From their website “the whisky is meticulously blended using a combination of single malt and grain whisky. Bottled at 58%, you’ll enjoy the mellow fragrance and complex flavor of this great bottle.”
On the nose, I was getting a creamy vanilla. Slight slight wisp of sulphur (I had been letting the whisky open for half an hour or so…) A little apple and a dusting of chocolate…got a little morello cherry as I was nosing it earlier on. The dram kept changing slightly a new scent here and there, getting that old creaky worn leather note now. And a slight perfumed scent which is… lovely!!
The palate, lovely oaky flavour on the tongue… I do love a bit of wood. Fruity and kind of got my taste buds watering. There was lovely fruit sweetness… some bitter notes too. And that’s a good thing. Chocolate is still lingering with a pinch of spice. Some added water, I added another sip… I think my exact words were “I’ll chuck in an “eeh, I like that!”
The second sample of the evening was Eigashima 2011 Kikou-Ki Series – Single Cask Japanese Single Malt bottled at 58.4%. this was aged in a Port Ellen cask.
From Dekanatā “The Kikou bottling pays homage to the rich history of Japanese whisky by maturing in a cask from the world renowned Port Ellen distillery in Scotland. This is an acknowledgement of the Scottish education of Masataka Taketsuru, the industry pioneer regarded as the “Father Of Japanese Whisky.” By learning the process of Scotland’s premiere distilleries, Taketsuru was able to bring those concepts back to Japan and launch the first Japanese whisky distillery.”
Initially (I poured it an hour earlier) I got the aroma of yeast/dough, green apples, and citrus fruit. Coupled with a smoky scent. There was a soft perfumed note but organic (outdoorsy (fresh early morning walk)) scent too. Then some more fruity notes coming to the fore… floral scent too. Alongside this there was a slight lemony note, very fresh. A slight saltiness…
Time for a sip.
Ooh a slightly viscous mouthfeel… (which I didn’t quire expect) big hit of burnt sugar meets spice. Slightly tart. A suggestion of smokiness. Drying on the palate. It was a little woody (think pencil shavings) and some nutty flavours too. Warming finish but it is quite dry.
I really can’t say that I liked the Kikou. There was just something that didn’t quite sit well with my palate. On the other hand, the Yamazakura blend just kept giving me little nods and hints of something more… which is always nice.
It was a great evening with some lovely people. Huge amount of thanks to Steve Rush and Denkantā for including me in this tweet tasting… always a treat to try something completely new.