Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Malt Of Kagoshima 1984, aged 25 years in sherry casks

Another new contributor to Nonjatta today: AshDLS from the Whisky Magazine Forum. He is a Nonjatta reader and currently lives in Australia, but has spent time in Japan. He also has a scoop because The Malt of Kagoshima 1984, about which he writes with winning modesty below, is from a tiny supply of whisky from Japan's most southerly, and now long defunct distillery in Kagoshima. For background on Kagoshima look at the distillery page and my previous review of Satsuma 1984, which came from the same year at the same distillery (the last year whisky was made there) and also was sherry cask aged. That earlier bottling was a vatting of 3 sherry casks. This one is, a combination of whisky from 5 surviving casks and has been matured for an extra 5 years.

Read the volume note at the bottom of Ash's review. He is right. Many Japanese whiskies are bottled in 720ml bottles. I think it is one of the reasons why they have had trouble getting their whisky the U.S. in the past, where the authorities have rigidly insisted on 700ml.

Review by Nonjatta contributor - AshDLS

"I think this may be my first ever attempt at a tasting note. I don't consider my nose or palate sensitive or experienced, so I've been a little hesitant to share my thoughts. But here goes! I received this bottle as a gift from a bartender friend in Japan.

The Malt Of Kagoshima 1984, aged 25 years in sherry cask, 46 per cent alcohol. Mars Whisky.
Colour: Straight gold, but still lighter than I would have imagined.
Nose: There's something very unusual about this I'm having trouble picking out, but otherwise, on one occasion I had a rubbery/gummy sensation. Another time, there was definitely citrus is there. Grassy and oil on another.
Palate: Medium bodied, quickly turns spicy. Not an enormous amount of sherry, surprisingly. Dry and biting.
Finish: Not terribly assertive, but something burnt and slightly sweet seems to pop its head up every so often.
Extra note: Interestingly it's a 720ml bottle... my friend explained that it's the equivalent of four - one being 180ml, the same volume as those small wooden boxes from which sake is drunk (and by which rice was measured, back in the day). Ten equals one shō, or 1.8l, the same volume as those enormous bottles of sake you often see at Japanese restaurants."

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