Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub
Today, we’re happy to be able to unveil a special bottling selected by and exclusively available through Nonjatta. It is the first in a series of Japanese whiskies featuring artwork taken from the last great ukiyoe artist Yoshitoshi’s final series of woodblock prints “New Forms of 36 Ghosts” (1889-1892).
On the nose, you get a wonderfully subtle amalgam of soft fruity notes: strawberry fruiche (a Japanese kind of home-made flavoured yoghurt), apricot butter, melon hi-chew, tinned peaches, dried pineapple and in the background, heather flowers and a hint of marjoram. The palate has some lovely surprises in store: pink grapefruit most prominently, but also apple sauce, peach jam and gooseberries. But there’s more: kashiwa mochi (a Japanese sweet rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), baked alaska, pencil shavings, and a hint of sudachi (a Japanese citrus fruit) and pink pepper. The finish is long and lingering… and well, modesty precludes us from raving too much about it, but it truly is a small miracle.
We like to think there is a certain resonance between aspects of the print and the character of the liquid in the bottle. These sort of resonances will be further explored in subsequent bottlings and we invite you to join us in this project. There are 35 more prints, and it’s our goal to find the right Japanese whisky to “go with” each and every one of those prints. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves - back to our Karuizawa 1996: it’s available from our friends at Malt City via this exclusive link. The cask only yielded 140 bottles, so there is a limit of 1 bottle per customer.
We are often placed in a sort of “don’t shoot the pianist”-position when we share news of exciting new releases coming out of Japan. Many of them are hard to get for our readers abroad; some are already gone by the time we report on them; others are prohibitively expensive. It therefore fills us with happiness to be able to finally present something that is available, first of all, to you.