The well known and celebrated Yamazai 18 years old !! No trace of a thread at the moment so I'll start one, from a sample I bought.
Nose: light sherry, it starts as a shy spirit, I expected to be blown right away but you have to be patient... Yellow exotic fruits (golden kiwi), mabe some hints of cedar-like wood (not sure about that one), young leather, dry grapes, some cinnamon...
Palate: a little armagnac and vegetal, not easy to put words on it, nothing goes forward... You can feel this is 43% as opposed to too weak (40%), but not very bold either.
Finish: the distinctive japanese note (what is it, mizunara cask ? something else ?), fur, light bitterness from the wood, a very clear character, medium length, some "fruit paste" from my childhood (too bad I never liked it a lot )... It lacks a bit of "punch" really.
This is a well made spirit, very clear taste, it behaves very well, a little too much even... At this age and for that price particularly, it deserved a 46-48%, I think at that point we would really have fun. As it is, it is a disappointment for me, especially given the price point of this sauce in european territory, 200 euros in several places in France, it's a real joke... I have now 3-4 scottich references in mind that cost a third or a quarter of this are just as good in my book, so bye bye Yamazaki 18
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