I’d like to thank BarleyMania for this bottle, which was brought over by a friend of mine who happened to be in Germany at that time.
Japanese whisky. A simplistic google search will show that it is gold that flows from the Heavens, given to us by Kami-no-Kaze, sprinkled down into the minds of genius makers who truly have taken the reins from Scotland when it comes to Single Malt, and for some, whisky in the world in general.
The truth, it would seem, is far different than the above fiction which bubbles up from the taters of the world.
Today I’ll be reviewing Akashi White Oak Blend, a Japanese blend of grain and malt. It’s made by Eigashima distillery, who started making whisky in 1984. They made blended whisky until 2007, which they then started making single malt. They age the whisky for a minimum of three years.
So this is a well established distillery. As such, Akashi White Oak Blend as the entry malt should be equivalent to Scottish distilleries that have been around for 30+ years.
Thus we need to actually drink the whisky. So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Ethanol, corn, floral, vegetal
Initially lots of alcohol. Given time the nose nearly disappears, with only corn and floral notes.
I am not enjoying the nose.
Taste: Caramel, alcohol, vegetal, wood chips
Initial caramel is nice, though it quickly gives way to a hot alcohol, some vegetal notes, and lots of wood chips.
I’d say that this is young. Flavour is there, just very distant.
Finish: Burnt caramel, vegetal, pop corn
Interesting pop corn note. It’s not buttery. It’s burnt caramel pain.
It’s young, thus the finish is short.
Conclusion: Yeah, it’s not a great whisky. At all. Mostly just burnt and off tasting. Not a fun dram to sip on.
That said, given some time, the nose ended up with some floral aspects, that I think could grow. The wood chip/vegetal notes were quite rough.
At the end of the day, I expected more from this distillery. If this is the result of 30+ years of blending, I wonder if this distillery hasn’t decided they want to stick to whiskies that should be mixed.
World Whisky review #288, Japan review #35, Whisky Network review #1268