After visting, tasting..
Previously I presented a photo report of Yamazaki Distillery visit. As it happens in decent distilleries, on site you can make tasting. Usually only basic single malt releases are available. In Yamazaki it was a lot more interesting.
While the distillery tour, of course, we were offered Yamazaki NAS and Hakushu NAS – given in popular in Japan way, ie. with plenty of ice or for “tough guys” without dilution. Hesitantly, but I decided to let go my purism and check the ice version. Very tasty, refreshing, great for the summer.
After this gentle warm-up, we went to another room, where for a relatively small fee we could try malts available only at the distillery. Interestingly you could taste whisky also outside of Suntory company.
First off I started with Yamazaki 1986 single cask, cask strength 58% ABV.
C: black tea,
N: rum Ritters Sports chocolate, rum, quite interesting, because it is sherry cask, but I sense quite some rum here, raisins, milk chocolate with raisins, very intense, star anise, cloves, with the addition of water it gets herbal;
T: well fills the the mouth, an explosion of fruits, slightly warming, a little bitterness, despite the 58% ABV it tastes calmly, with time and after a drop of water even smoothes and becomes a little liqueurish;
F: long with notes of bitterness, chocolate and prunes.
Score: approx. 90.
Next was Yamazaki Limited Distillery Edition. Anyway, I bought on site a whole bottle. This is a NAS (no age statement), the contents was matured in sherry and port casks, the ingredients are supposed to be up to 20 years.
N: sweet, biscuity, Christmas cake, notes of hard candy, typically Japanese, nice, gentle and pleasant;
T: calm, hard candy, with delicate sour notes, ripe oranges, Wedel’s chocolate barrels with liqueur – I think there are still on sale, so a lot of chocolate, gently sparks on the tongue;
F: quite long with notes of chocolate.
Score: approx. 86/87.
One day I’ll have to do an experiment and see how this single malt tastes at home.
Next, I had to try something very Japanese. I opted for a Yamazaki Mizunara (Japanese oak) single cask, cask strength 55% ABV. This single cask is one of the components for Hibiki 17 years old.
N: dried fruits, raisins, figs, dried pear, generally dried fruits compote, Christmas cake;
T: warming, grapefruits, oranges, orange peel, with time it becomes more and more sweet, I get also biscuits;
F: long with grapefruit and orange.
Score: approx. 88/89.
On the way back I left myself peaty single cask, a component for Hakushu 12 years old, 50% ABV.
C: white wine;
N: peat and smoke, ash and fireplace, traces of apples and pears, but most of all hospital and dentist;
T: strongly warms and sparks on the tongue, ash, a few drops of lemon juice, lemon peel, grapefruit;
F: long, constantly sparks on the tongue with lemon peel.
Score: approx. 85.
This whisky is a bit uncouth, especially after trying out the others.
This was successful tasting, I am pleased especially with the possibility of trying single casks available only on-site, components of the official Suntory whisky releases.