Thanks to /u/nsquare14 for sending me some samples. Really appreciate these, as he sent me some I’ve never reviewed as a thank you for the reviews.
Ohishi distillery was founded in 1872. They are the closest distillery to the Kuma River, known for superior water quality. I assume that it involves robots making it better somehow.
Ohishi is primarly known for its sake and shochu, and has been in the family for five generations. They now make whisky, distilled entirely from rice and then aged in ex-brandy or ex-sherry casks. Also 30% of the rice is estate grown.
Also interesting is that they use a pot still made from stainless steel, versus the copper that we’re used to.
Not to mention, if you’ve seen a gif going around of ducks and koi in a rice field getting rid of weeds, they use that method too.
Which brings us to the single cask offering Ohishi Rice Whisky Sherry Cask. This is specifically cask number 1357. Also, check out that cool bottle for whisky? Talk about product differentiation. Wish I knew about it in marketing class.
Now that I’m done nerding out, how does the whisky taste?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask No. 1357
Mashbill: 100% rice
Cask: ex-Sherry (first-fill)
Colour: 5YR 2/4
Nose: Green apple, lime zest, herbal, lemon Febreeze, cranberry
Interesting light notes. The whole thing is the candle section at one of those new age stores. But not overpowering.
It’s really quite nice. Good citrus/acidity and wood. Very little chemical side to it, which doesn’t really throw me off too much.
Taste: Rich raisin, caramel, smoke, melon, guava
Rich sherry influence. This is not light. Lovely caramel and just a bit of smoke, even though I’m pretty sure the rice isn’t smoked.
Lovely fruit flavours given some time.
Finish: Raisin, caramel, umami, char, dirt
Finish has some parts of the taste that was quite nice. That part is great.
Then there’s this umami that’s going a little odd here. Like I wasn’t expecting it.
Then there’s this dirt filled part to it. Too much of said dirt too.
Conclusion: Good, though the finish needs work. You have this interesting take on floral/light fruit elements at first, followed by a wonderful sherry cask, and then a finish that nearly did it.
Kudos for a few things. First off, all rice whisky? Cool. And it wasn’t shit.
Good sherry casks? Congrats, you beat out a lot of places out there. I’ll be looking for more of these.
World Whisky review #307, Japan review #36, Whisky Network review #1420