Monday, September 26, 2011

First Chichibu single malt already selling like... erm... Ichiro's Malt

Ichiro Akuto says the first single malt from Chichibu distillery is already being bought up about half a month before the official launch date in Japan.

The first expression of whisky from the distillery, which opened at the start of 2008 and therefore could not release whisky (which must be aged 3 years) until this year, will be released on Oct. 10 in Japan. It had its launch in Europe at Whisky Live Paris on Saturday. There are 7,400 bottles, half of which are destined for the foreign market.

All of the foreign bottles have already been bought up.

It was aged in 200-litre Bourbon barrels and is a vatting from 31 barrels. Akuto says the great differences between night and day temperatures at the distillery mean that the whisky has matured unusually quickly. It is cask strength at 61 percent alcohol.

A very rough translation of Akuto's comments on the taste of the dram: it has a citrus-peel fragrance, followed by lemon or orange dried fruits and, finally, a sweet flagrance similar to caramel or toffee. In the mouth, it has a creme caramel-like sweetness, with a creamy and thick feel on the tongue. A complex woodiness from the barrel lingers, according to Akuto.
The bottling will be launched in Japan on Oct. 10 at the Palace Hotel Omiya in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture, at the Whisky Party 2011. The event starts at 5pm. Tickets cost 6,000 yen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ichiro's Malt Final Vintage of Hanyu "For The Taster" 10-year-old

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:

Ichiro's Malt "For The Taster" 10-year-old. 48 per cent alcohol.
A vatting of sherry, hogshead and puncheon casks
Nose: Rich. Sherry, tinned peaches, caramel, leather, musk, Champion Ruby tobacco, Bourbon-like orange (Woodford Reserve).
Palate: Leather is prominent, lemon, sweet tobacco, Morrocan spice, candied orange, musk sticks, sherry.
Finish: Rich with tobacco, sherry, caramel, musk sticks. Then, a little dry.

Ichiro's Malt The Final Vintage Of Hanyu 2000 10-year-old

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:

Ichiro's Malt The Final Vintage Of Hanyu 2000 10-year-old. 60.1 per cent alcohol.
Nose: Sandalwood, creme caramel, oak, nectarines, glazed orange slices, candied nuts.
Palate: Sweet and very smooth at 60% abv. More of the candied nuts and sandalwood, all spice, oak, toffee and a hint of pipe tobacco. A little water exagerates the candied nuts and tobacco.
Finish: With water it is smooth, sweet but not cloying on sweet spices, Asian incense, candied nuts and sandlewood.
General comment: Classic Ichiro's, tasty, and very Japanese, if you know what I mean.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sun Shine Extra Special Whisky, aged 20 years

Wakatsuru Shuzou, Toyama Prefecture

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:

Sun Shine (Wakatsuru Shuzou) Aged 20 Years. 59 percent alcohol.
Nose: Pear, vanilla, brine, a little vinous(white wine), oranges, oak, smoke.
Palate: Explosion of malt, lemon sherbert, sweet oak, salt, hint of sherry, blackcurrent, smoke, mouth coating
Finish: Long, starts with malt and blackcurrent sweetness then ashy/smokey dryness. After about five minutes some yeast and fresh cut timber join in.Excellent blalance. Really like this one.

Akashi 12-year-old

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:

Akashi 12-year-old. 50-percent alcohol.
Nose: Strong notes of vanilla, sherry, euchalyptus fire, burnt pie crust, overipe peach, burnt popcorn. A little sulphur, which works with this one.
Palate: Very strong flavours, even with a little water. The burnt popcorn is huge. Chargrilled steak, sherry, euchalyptus fire, malt, flambéed bananas.
Finish: Long, with malt, sherry, flambéed banana and then lots of ashy dryness from the various charred flavours on the palate.
General Comment: An eclectic whisky to say the least. The base flavours stay more or less the same, with some different ones fading in and out from dram to dram.

Diamond Whisky

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:

Diamond Whisky (Kyowa Hakko Kogyo). 43 percent alcohol.
Nose: Red apples, sawdust, malt, sugared grapefruit, vanilla, biscuity; Scotch-like.
Palate: Chunky malt, vanilla, fruit jubes; a little oily.
Finish: Short, malty, sweet and oily.
General comment: Solid whisky with no peaks or troughs.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Strike Karuizawa from your tour plans

I don't think I have mentioned on Nonjatta that Kirin told me they are closing Karuizawa's museum from Nov. 6. I have already covered the transfer of stock from Karuizawa, but, for anyone putting together a distillery tour itinerary, it should be known that Karuizawa, which until now has offered access to its now mothballed distillery as part of its museum experience, is probably best seen as a non-whisky destination.

Kilchoman/Chichibu chat

A very interesting conversation between Anthony Wills of Kilchoman and Ichiro Akuto of Chichibu has been translated by Nicholas Coldicott from his (Japanese) article in Whisky Magazine Japan.

(Also, I don't know how I missed posting a link to Nicholas's tasting of Yamazaki 50. Very envious.)

Special Whisky Shop W bottling

Two limited edition, 12-year-old single cask bottlings from Hakushu and Yamazaki are to be sold by Suntory from Sept. 8 (tomorrow), to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Whisky Shop W. in Osaka. As far as I can see, they are not yet up on the Suntory online store, but they will be sold there and both bottlings will be priced at 10,000 yen.

This is the original Suntory press release (in Japanese). There are only 395 bottles of the Yamazaki and 173 bottles of the Hakushu, so hurry!