Saturday, 24 January 2015

120.8 "A surge of sweet peat" (13 year old Hakushu)

Distillery: Hakushu
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 13
Distilled: 2000
Bottled: 2014
Strength: 63.1%.
Cask Code: 120.8 "A surge of sweet peat"
Cask Type: Second fill hogshead

Nose: Is this an Islay? It could easily be take for one. This is very fresh with some lemon and lime, maybe some air freshener? Some pine backs this up. Old school carbolic soap and some olives or garlic in brine. There is some dental mouthwash but the antiseptic non minty kind. A little scallop with oil and salt. A fruitier side comes by way of dried pineapple and apple jack sweets. I get visions of garden centres with moss, grass and wood bark.

Palate: Sweet in the mouth and I get salted limes and fizzy apple. There is a spicy bit of chilli pepper, some hazelnut and new pencils.

Finish: Long, briny and earthy and is quite drying which helps accentuate the nuttiness. A sweetness develops which is like icing sugar.

124.4 "Full of Secret Pleasures" (Miyagikyo 17 year old) Japanese whisky

Distillery: Miyagikyo
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 17
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2014
Strength: 60.0%.
Cask Code: 124.4 "Full of Secret Pleasures"
Cask Type: First fill Pedro Ximinez sherry butt.

Nose: This is a heavier sherried malt compared to the 11.14 Yamazaki with heavy pure cocoa, truffles and truffle oil. Heavy on the liquorice with typical figs, dates, wallnuts aqnd some chocolate covered brazil nuts. Cinnamon and clove oils beef up the viscousity. Some rubberness comes through in birthday balloons. This is thick and sweet, and has a certain flatness which I don't find particularly offensive but tends to be common with some of these sherry heavy ones. All aromas together it reminds me of Buckfast Tonic Wine a drink I am fond of when I am not savouring single malt whisky.

Palate: Chocolate and ginger cake. Some candied fennel sweets that you get in Indian Restaurants and some chocolate limes.

Finish: Black cardamom brings in this barbeque smokiness, with some more of the clove. Smoked paprika. Menthol cigarette and cigar smoke blending together on a smoking terrace. There is a touch of bitter espresso in there as well.

119.14 "Raspberry Imperial Stout" (11 year old Yamazaki) Japanese whisky.


Distillery: Yamazaki
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 11
Distilled: 2003
Bottled: 2013
Strength: 53.9%.
Cask Code: 119.14 "Raspberry Imperial Stout"
Cask Type: First fill sherry butt.

Nose: Trying to not succumb to the society tasting notes, but I agree and it is big on the raspberries and this comes as thick and juicy jam on the breakfast table is also some nutella spread and some honey. There is some glazed ham full of cumin and pepper with a slice of pineapple. Whiffs of the old Scottish sweetshop classic the Chelsea whopper which is a cocoa based fudge. There is a terpene note but unlike pine which is common for me in a lot of these sherried Japanese malts it is more like Tea tree oil, and continued with some menthol vapour rub. There is also an oily note that is like standing in a car garage forecourt.

Palate: In the mouth it is thick and cloying as expected. This is like Jammy Joeys which are as the name suggests a Jammy bite sized cake with raspberry and coconut and it continues with raspberry ruffle bars. The tea tree oil and menthol is turning more eucalyptus like. There is some soreen malt loaf as well.

Finish: While this was quite cloying and I find some heavily sherried malts just too heavy and flat there is a brightness which carries through the palate and lifts it right up. Reminds me of fizzy red cola. There is some cherry and a little lavender as well.

130.1 "Dynamic and Attractive" (Chichibu 4 year old) Japanese whisky



Distillery: Chichibu
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 4
Distilled: 2009
Bottled: 2013
Strength: 61.9%.
Cask Code: 130.1 "Dynamic and Attractive"
Cask Type: First fill ex-bourbon barrel.

Nose: Strawberry shortbread, lemon fancies, fruit salad chews. Fruit pastilles'. It gets juicier as it develops with peach, lemon and papaya. Pecan nuts.

Palate: Dryer than the nose indicates. coconut milk, raspberry milkshake, coriander seeds giving it a little woodiness. Crystallised ginger.

Finish: Crunchy nut cornflakes, peanut cookies, honey and a little almond.

116.20 "Fascinating complexity and finesse" (Yoichi 26 year old) Japanese whisky




Distillery: Yoichi
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 26
Distilled: 1987
Bottled: 2014
Strength: 61.6%.
Cask Code: 116.20 "Fascinating complexity and finesse"
Cask Type: Virgin oak puncheon.

Nose: Chocolate covered raisins, raspberry sauce, teriyaki chicken, smouldering embers, seared scallops, treacle, marzipan. Freshly polished antique rooms in a country house. Freshly peated barley. Mash houses, Turkish delight and ruffle bars.

Palate: Very strange and unique and not what I expected. Baked plum tart, jam. Turns a little soapy and flowery and eventually a tiny bit of sulphur.

Finish: Sherbet, red grape, cherry, red cola.

G13.1 "A complete revelation" (Chita 4 year old) Japanese Grain



Distillery: Chita (Suntory)
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 4
Distilled: 2011
Bottled: 2014
Strength: 58.3%.
Cask Code: G13.1 "A complete revelation"
Cask Type: Virgin oak puncheon.

Nose: This is very spicy but seedy and woody spices like cinnamon, cassia bark, coriander seeds, fennel seeds. This is punctuated with balsawood and freshly cut timber. Very sweet and syrup like which is like Irn Bru, orange syrup or medicine. Sweet shop confectionary of pineapple cubes and soor plooms. Corn is evident and spiced kebab meat. Desiccated coconut and vanilla.

Palate: Very spicy and lively, but not too hot.

Finish: Finish not as long as I would have expected but the wood spices and orange flavours dominating and turning a touch spirity on the tail.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive (Karuizawa 17 year old)



Distillery: Karuizawa
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 17
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2013
Strength: 61.7%.
Cask Code: 132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive
Cask Type: Refill ex sherry butt.

Following on from a year ago when I reviewed the utterly outstanding 28 year old Karuizawa from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society - http://stilldramming.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/1321-secret-moonlit-garden-dram.html - I have also been hoarding 132.2, 132.3, 132.4 and have just recently received 132.5 from my friend in Australia, and have been quietly working my way through drinking them. With .2 and .4 nearly finished I figured I better put some notes up.

Nose: Big and fruity and much like its older brother 132.2 this could blindly be mistaken for an ex-bourbon with oodles of vanillins, and coconut and what feels more like American oak influence on this butt rather than European oak. Lemon sherbet sweets and baked and salted pineapple. Baked pears with custard. Some sharp cranberry and unripe strawberries. Some delicate smoke coming through not unlike a light Bowmore level of peating, and Cuban cigars. Milk chocolate and cocoa butter. A little lavender just like 132.2 continues the Bowmore comparisons here. Dutch caramel wafers add a further thick and rich sweetness to it. Some treacle and liquorice.

Palate: Fudge and butter scotch. Spice comes through in cinnamon buns, and fennel seeds continue the aniseedy/liquorice elements.

Finish: Floral and dry dusty which is almost Rosebank-like. Nectarines and mandarins.