Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
A few months ago, we reported on a special limited edition of Suntory’s iconic Kakubin for highball bar Rockfish, available exclusively – at the time, that is – from Aeon supermarkets. It seems like the Aeon group have quite a special relationship with Suntory because last month, they managed to arrange a special limited edition bottling of their Yamazaki malt, simply entitled “48%”, which refers to the bottling strength, obviously. It sort of slipped under the radar and, unless you can track down a bottle or two in an Aeon supermarket that doesn’t move too much liquor, your chances of getting hold of one are pretty slim now. The retail price was a little over 5,000 yen and there were only 300 bottles.
With the NAS, on the palate, you get candied orange peel, fruit cake, butterscotch, crème brulee, honey-on-toast, soft caramel and lemon tart. It’s one of the best-kept Japanese whisky secrets, really. People abroad don’t know it and whisky fans here tend to overlook it but it is the most versatile Japanese malt on the market, in our opinion. It’s great neat, but it also works well with ice, in highballs and in mizuwaris. In fact, not a day goes by here at Nonjatta HQ that it doesn’t find its way into our system one way or another. The “48%” is even better. It’s a bit more lush, with loads of orchard fruits again, freshly-made preserves, apricot Danish, … and even though it’s obviously quite young (probably an 8yo, if they had to put an age statement on it), it’s fresh and vibrant and perfectly balanced. Well worth the extra money compared with the NAS.
Read more about Yamazaki Distillery here.