Monday, June 12, 2000

Fuji Sanroku 18-year-old single malt

Update 19.12.2010: Dramtastic's review added.

Fuji Sanroku 18 and Fuji Gotemba 18 are both from the Fuji Gotemba distillery and both say that they have been aged for 18 years on their bottles. The reason given to me by the guide at Gotemba for the very significant extra cost of this one is that a 24-year-old malt has been vatted with it.

Please note that there is a non-single malt version of Fuji Sanroku. If you want the single malt, make sure you look for "single malt" spelled out in Roman characters on the bottle. The non-single malt version has its alcohol content of 50 per cent displayed prominently.

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:
Kirin Sanroku 18-year old. 43 percent alcohol.
Nose: Pineapple, walnuts, white pepper, cigar leaf, clay, dried apricots, mixed herbs. After about 20 minutes, there is a strong note of treacle.
Palate: Pineapple, walnut, brazil nut, some lemon, blueberry bubblegum, quite herbaceous.
Finish: It has a medium length with pineapple, spices, herbs, nuts, blueberry bubblegum and, finally, the cigar leaf makes a return.
General comment: A well structured whisky of good complexity.

43 per cent
Price (May 2007)
700 ml - 15,742 yen

Sunday, June 11, 2000

What would I do to improve the Fuji Gotemba tour?

I criticised the Fuji Gotemba tour. How could it be made better?

1. Employ a few engaging old choffers who have worked at the factory for years as my guides (they started in 1973, so there should be a few suitably matured whisky men or women).

2. Cut the unguided tour or at least heavily push the guided tour at people when they enter. Remove the need to book a guide. Instead, make the guided tours depart every hour.

3. Have one small sample of the cheaper single malt as the free drink at the end of the tour. This is the climax, for God's sake! The visitor have just seen a display explaining how much of the whisky evaporates in its 18 years of aging. Now they need to taste this incomparably precious liquor, not experience some alcohol soaked anti-climax with a large tumbler of Boston Club (once memorably described by Jim Murray as the "Boston Strangler").

4. Before anyone drinks a drop, the guide or one of the air stewardesses (they have to find a job for them somehow) needs to explain to people what single malt is.