Continuing the GSN series on Japanese whiskies, today we’ll be focusing on Yamazaki. The Distillery is located Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Opened in 1923, by Shinjiro Torii the founder of Suntory, it was Japan’s first commercial whisky distillery. Over the past 90 years, they have amassed over 7,000 bottles of unblended malt whisky in an amazing “Whisky Library”. Visitors can tour the library, but if you’re unable to go in person, this video by a fellow beverage blogger at PeteDrinks.com.
Yamazaki 12 (86 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Mild smoke and salt, with some ginger, seaweed and fresh-cut oak.
Taste: Sweet, but impressively aggressive mouthfeel and flavor. Very rich and viscous whisky. This will hold up to any ice you throw in the glass. The depth of malt and quality of distillation makes this seem like a 100 proof spirit.
Finish: Long, long, long. The sweeter notes fade into a cascade of spice and wood, leaving your mouth refreshed. Almost as if you’d just eaten a piece of candied ginger.
Overall: Very nice. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive Japanese whisky for your “go-to” nightcap, I’d recommend this in a heartbeat.
GSN Rating: A
Yamazaki 18 (86 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Heavy wood with a goodly dose of smoke. Quite dark and brooding. Mystery in a glass.
Taste: Surprisingly light and expressive, with plenty of malt and wood playing tag. The flavors move from sugar maple to an almost sherry-like fruitiness, and then move on to a hearty powerhouse of oak char. A fine partner for a quality cigar.
Finish: Long and wistful. There is a sense of Autumn, cooler weather and reminiscence.
Overall: The nose reminds me of opening an old sea chest in the attic. Quite evocative.
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: The Yamazaki