Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample.
I’ve had Ichiro’s malts before. The big thing about them is the card series. Also how legendary Hanyu is and the fact that it closed down.
I’m also pretty bad at trying a lot of legendary drams. It’s no real surprise: I’m not rich and I don’t say only nice things about whisky. Thus it’s a tad harder for me to find some of these Unicorns.
Thus I’m quite surprised myself that I got to try Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu The Peated 2011. Why a unicorn? Well compared to other “The Peated” releases, it was left for another year and is at the strongest strength ever (based on the websites I found, which hopefully aren’t total bullshit).
Not to mention that it’s made by the grandson of the man who founded Hanyu, Ichiro Akuto. There’s been much buzz around these.
However, you’re not here for buzz. No, you’re here to read my reviews for reasons I’m still trying to figure out. Am I funny? According to some reviews, the jury’s out. But am I good at reviews? According to some, also no.
But am I constantly posting? Yes. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Bottling Date: 2015
No of Bottles 5,980
Colour: 7Y 9/8
Nose: Smoked pears, saltwater taffy, liquorice, hot cider, caramel sundae, chai tea
Wow. Initial nose isn’t just a blast of peat. It’s more so smoked pears. Yes, pear is a common note, however here it’s blended with the smoke. More time gives us brine, caramel, and even some spices.
However, after more time and some water, it starts growing more and more. Big assortment of spices, lovely tea notes, and even a hard-to-pin-down caramel note that teases you like that time you hosted a variety show with your fly down.
Taste: Cinnamon, pear, marshmallow, white raspberry, honey graham crackers, cricket flour
Again, the initial flavour is spice and pear. More time gives more acidity, sweets, and creaminess.
However, after water and time, it ramps up with honey, cereal, and even interesting spices (crickets taste somewhere between cinnamon and cumin, to me).
Finish: Nutmeg, lemon-lime soda, rich caramel, cilantro, cocoa nibs, almond milk latte, taragon
The finish, without water, is my favourite part of the unsullied dram (a dram that marches its army for the Queen of Dragons).
However, water again comes to the rescue. Big heat, chocolate, creamy nuttiness (name of my new porn, coming soon) with lovely coffee notes as well.
Conclusion: Water = Awesome. Really, when I started reviewing this dram, based on the reviews from xile and others, I expected amazing. Frankly, I was underwhelmed when I first started on it and was concerned at having a different point of view, and therefore being ostracized from society (more so).
However time started hinting at more to it, and water just ramps this up completely. There’s care, complexity, and an understanding of what whisky should be in this dram.
Yes, I’ve had more complex drams. More than I’d like to admit, due to some sense that feeling good about myself makes me a bad person. However, this draws you in. Some drams you need to take an hour to truly enjoy. This makes you want to take an hour to enjoy it. If they’d been drinking this during Inglorious Bastards, in the famous scene, the movie would be two hours long.
World Whisky review #308, Japan review #37, Whisky Network review #1424