Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub
In Japan, as elsewhere, Benriach casks from the 70s are instant hits. However, over the last year or so, with stocks from that decade dwindling fast, prices have shot up – to the point where retailers are being forced to consider slightly younger stable mates. For this, their 6th private Benriach, the Shinanoya people have selected a 1983 hogshead (cask #300) – one year shy of 30 – with an outturn of just 229 bottles. It’s very reasonably priced (16,800 yen) and will officially go on sale on March 27th.
On the nose, the initial impressions are melon sorbet, Jonagold apples, candied pineapple, also a hint of tinned peaches. Water really pushes the melon to the fore, but it also brings out honey butter on toast, apricot Danish pastries and a subtle vanilla note. Words don’t really do it justice, to be honest – it’s quite extraordinary. On the palate, it’s like a universe of sweetness but with an intriguing tartness at the centre: lemon-honey cupcakes, Greek orange-honey cake, baklava cigars (this is not something you smoke, by the way – it just looks like a cigar) and in the background some gentle wood spice. Water spotlights the woody flavours a bit more, which is nice. The finish is long, prolonging the palate’s themes while adding a white chocolate mousse note and a hint of summer hay fields, strange as it may sound.
I could go on raving about it, but I think I’d better stop here before this turns into malt porn. Just consider this to be a glimpse – if you think you want it, you know where to get it.
Shinanoya is willing to ship this abroad (using DHL). International customers are advised to use this link, or directly contact Internet Marketing Manager Mr. Yagyu at: y_yagyu (at) shinanoya.co.jp.