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Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

Bulk Post #2

A few blends:

Whyte & Mackay 22 YO: Some sort of crappy asain food, lemons, sherry, sesame, and caramel.

 

Whyte & Mackay 30 YO: Much! nicer. Bigger, more lovely caramel, beautiful citrus of myriad varieties. Some heather, butter, eucalyptus, popcorn. Very drying.

 

A.D.Rattray 19 YO blend 55.8% (Auchentoshan ’91, Balblair ’90, Benriach ’89, Bowmore ’91)

Starts on honey and apricots, some birch syrup, a touch of gentian and fennel along the lines of a rye whiskey. Some burnt wood notes that are quite ashy. Develops pears and some resinous/pine notes. Water brings apples, some soap, a touch of wintergreen, and some very bitter orange oils.

 

Compass Box Great King Street: Very good. Balanced sweet, fruity, and honeyed. Simple but enjoyable.

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Nose: sherry fruit, just beginning-to-toast marshmallows, bubblegum, sugar cane. Super hot and biting on the palate with the sherry eventually fading to powdered sugary base-ball-card bubblegum. With water: nose: menthol, cocoa nibs, espresso, black raspberry preserves, damson plums. Palate adds vanilla extract, licorice root, star anise. More water brings out aromas of wheated bourbon: sweet cereals, caramel, golden sugar, cherry jelly, and toasted oak, with the palate largely following suit. Still hot though, lets add even more water. Noses on blueberries, very underripe plums, gets very tart on the palate like tart cherries and black currants. Very interesting development. It’s not the yummiest whisky, but it’s very intellectual, and certainly worth trying. Also it’s (relatively) dirt cheap at 26.25 GBP for a 500 mL bottle at an online retailer I just googled.

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The Hibiki 12 was one of the REAL reasons I found myself at Park Ave Liquors on that wonderful trip in December. The evening of its purchase I opened up the bottle with my father and he and I sat alone at the dining room table for well over an hour, our hands covering our glasses to keep the aromas in, sipping in near silence -breaking it only occasionally to offer a tasting note or pontificate poetically. It was a moment I want never to forget.

The reason I sought out this bottling so hard is that it’s only the third japanese whiskey available in the US, alongside the Yamazaki 12 and 18 year old expressions. All these come from the same japanese company, Suntory, made famous over here by Bill Murray’s character in the movie Lost in Translation. This is the first japanese blended whiskey we’ve received and this, along with their 17, 21 and 30 year old expressions consistently win gold medals in international competitions in the blended categories. It’s not currently available in Massachusetts but it is expected to make it over here before the end of the year.

My notes were compiled over several days, but unfortunately I didn’t bother writing down which notes were merely tasted but didn’t necessarily come through on the nose. I also didn’t pick up on all flavors on different days, but I remain confident that they… er… were definitely there at the time.

Consumed: Neat

Nose: demerera sugar, plum, mint, sherry, lemon, apple, cream, almond, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, honeysuckle, clove, kiwi, tobacco, leather, oak

Everything was very well balanced and nuanced with a strong demerera backbone and a solid plum presence, with the other flavors coming and going throughout the experience in roughly that order.

Hibiki 12 Year

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