Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
No point in beating around the bush: the nose is sublime. You get small cakes (madeleines with lemon, financier), assorted sweets (guimauves, candied apples, hokey pokey ice cream, soft [生] caramel, honey-drizzled apple beignets) and some cashew nuts. In the background, there’s freshly cut grass and fresh oak. Then, after a while, you get some oregano scones. If you give it some more time, it develops towards honey-lemon tea (with a tiny bit of mint) and if you wait 15-20 minutes, it transforms into peach yoghurt… or rather, peach calpis. Water dials up the fruit a bit and brings out a certain herbaceousness, which is nice if you want to approach this dram from a slightly different angle.
The palate develops the initial impressions on the nose. There’s a soft, sweet citrus element (lemon sorbet, candied lemon peel) and assorted Danish pastries. It’s got a nice, creamy mouthfeel (honey-glazed doughnuts) and there’s a bit of pommeau (of the Domfrontais variety). A Scotch whisky that dreams of France, it seems… The finish is medium-long on Gala apple peel, yokan and vanilla (but nothing excessive).
There’s just one thing we can say: the people at the Society here in Japan have kept the best for last. This really is the pick of the bunch.