Yamazaki Whisky – Single Malt Whisky Aged 18 Years

December has started off very well for the Whisky Boys, Jim and Dougie headed down to Nicola’s for a double tasting.

So it was Wednesday 2nd December about 7 pm and Nicola had everything ready for tonight’s tasting, and the first was a special one indeed, if you read our review of the Auchentoshan Distillery Festival Day earlier this year, The Yamazaki Whisky – Single Malt Whisky Aged 18 Years Old.

Japan’s First Whisky

In 1923, Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory and the father of Japanese whisky, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in the Vale of Yamazaki. Using copper pot stills, the Yamazaki distillery was the first of its kind outside of Scotland.

The distillery’s location on the outskirts of Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto offered pure waters, diversity of climate and high humidity – the ideal environment for the maturation of good whisky.

Today, Suntory Yamazaki is the most popular single malt whisky in Japan and is enjoyed by whisky connoisseurs the world over. Suntory Yamazaki is currently exported to more than 25 countries, including the United States.  Both Suntory Yamazaki 12- and 18- year old single malts are aged in casks of three different kinds of oaks: American, Spanish and Japanese. This gives Suntory Whisky its unique quality. Each malt has a distinct taste.

Yamazaki and Sushi.

Enjoy Suntory Yamazaki straight up for the purest, most intense taste experience, on the rocks, or mixed with water (Mizuwari) for a drink that pairs well with foods such as sushi. In the world of superior single malt whisky, Yamazaki offers a unique, thoroughly satisfying experience. The Whisky Boys agree with this as we had a fabulous tasting of Yamazaki (Mizuwari) with great sushi in Auchentoshan.

Yamazaki Distilleryyamazaki-18yearold-single-malt-whisky1
5-2-1 Yamazaki
Shimamoto-cho
Mishima-gun
Osaka
618-0001
Japan

Telephone: +81 75 961 1234
Fax: +81 75 962 8961
Web: www.suntory.com

This bottle was brought to us by Nicola who purchased a few special malts on her return from Las Vegas.

The Tasting

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 18 Years 43% Alc/vol.

Shingo Torii switched to small pot stills in 2006 in order to produce a variety of high quality straight malts with a depth and richness that could withstand a long period of aging. Entering the stillhouse today, the visitor’s eye is met with an incredible array of 12 pot stills, six of them in various different shapes and sizes. The incredible versatility afforded by such a choice of malts make the Yamazaki distillery a one-stop flavour shop that could end up in a league of its own.

Colour…Rich bronze with orange/gold highlights.

Dougie’s tasting

Nose…Light estery dried fruits, dates? Followed by honey and lemon, with water brings out vanilla and light spices.

Taste…Well rounded and mellow, vanilla and oak with a smooth sherry and dark chocolate.

Finish….Medium/long butterscotch and fruit, very very moreish.

Score…4 corks

Jim’s tasting

Nose…Sherry soaked raisins and sultanas with honey and a light touch of vanilla.

Taste…Oily and full bodied, a big bar of Cadbury’s fruit and nut, ever so smooth.

Finish…Long and lip smackingly rich, how pleasant is this dram?

Score…3.5 corks

Nicola’s tasting

Nose…Sweet, fruity notes, vanilla pods and raisins in the sun.

Taste…Following through on the vanilla with a chunk of chocolate, smooth as double cream.

Finish…Long, smooth and mellow, delicious, one of my top drams.

Score…4 corks

Overall Score…4 corks

Well our tasting certainly did not disappoint. After our introduction to Yamazaki when as guests at the Auchentoshan Distillery Festival earlier this year we agreed this 18 year old was one of the best we tasted that day.  This is a dram all Whisky lovers should experience and is available in all the Whisky Shops, on-line and via Morrison Bowmore.

We were a wee bit lost for words with this dram it is so much better than expected and we could see ourselves selecting this as a chosen dram in a pub/hotel/restaurant over some Scotch Whiskies, say no more.

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1 Response

  1. Franziska says:

    I visited Hakushu yateerdsy and enjoyed the day. It is also possible to walk from the train station to distillery and it will take you about an hour. Quite a nice walk along the rice fields and definitely makes you enjoy the Whisky that bit more. There is only a Japanese tour, but they will still take you along. On parts of the tour one of the staff updated me on all the information in quite good English and also later on in the shop explained some of the non standard Whiskies to me. There seem to be three different tours. Whisky only, Suntory Mineral water only and a mixed Whisky and water tour. I was on the mixed tour (due to not speaking japanese and only discovering the tours afterwards). This featured a quick tour of the whisky warehouse and the bottling facilites of the mineral water. So I guess it would be sensible to go for the Whisky only tour, allthough you get a whisky tasting with the mixed whisky and water tour also. The small museum in the old still building features a nice overview of general and japanese Whisky history and also enables you with a good view of Fuji-san from the lookout in the still towers. The above mentioned voucher will get you a complimentary Hakushu whisky tumbler.

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