Japanese malts and I have an odd history so far. I’ve had only a few, and one of them turned out to be the best World Whisky I’ve ever reviewed. The others… were over priced for what they were.
So when /u/UncleToby ‘s (Thanks again for the swap mate) offered me a dram of the Yamazaki 12, I had mixed thoughts. On the one hand, it’s recommended, and I’ve made it a personal objective to finish off the Beginner/Advanced drams, hopefully this year.
On the other hand, I have a past with Japanese malts that reads like Old Boy (Not exactly like old boy, mind out of the gutter!). I’m… worried.
Yamazaki is the oldest whisky distiller in Japan. They follow very strict rules and quality requirements when making it. Let’s see if all that was Lost in Translation.
Price: N/A in LCBO
Colour: Light honey
Nose: Cereal, grass, honey, tart plum, orange, perfume
More grainy than I usually go for, this eventually opens up into some tart sweet fruit flavours and a little bit of Lowland perfume. Not as complex as the 18 year old, though nice.
Granted it may just be fitting into the mood when I drank it, and perhaps I should have drank it After the Rain.
Taste: Honey, cereal, burnt sugar, mint, plum
There’s enough honey flavour in this to make me think it’s Drambuie and I’ll be fighting off The Luminous Fairies and Mothra soon. Unfortunately it subsides into more cereal and burnt sugar notes than I prefer normal.
Eventually, after awhile, the mint and plum take over, and they are nice to sip. So let this one breathe.
Finish: Cherry, grain, burn, melon rind, lemon zest, oak, nutmeg
There’s good and bad going on here. It’s a Battle Royale of sorts. On the good side: Very nice cherry, just a hint of spice, and there’s a touch of bittnerness to balance it out. The downside: It’s young, so there’s some graininess and burn, not to mention oak that I’m not really enjoying mixed in.
Conclusion: I Ran at the chance to try this in the end. I was a little worried that I’d be comparing it to the 18 year old too much, however that’s the case of everything I have. This seems like a good start, yet not worth the price. My score doesn’t include price, and if it was cheaper, I’d take this over Johnnie Walker Black as a change of pace.
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