This is a new bottling from the Yamazaki distillery with no age statement. It means that most of it is pretty young and it's apparent from the colour. Supposedly it's made from three different whiskies mainly, one aged in ex red wine casks, one in mizunara casks and one very old sherry whisky (in very small quantities obviously). For a japanese whisky it is somewhat affordable (50 to 60 euros), so I grabbed a bottle after having a dram.
So what did it tell me:
Nose: hmmmm, it's quite subtle, lots of lemon, light chocolate, light sherry notes on red fruits (that would be the 20yo sherry whisky...), distinctive "japanese notes" (sorry, can't do better on that one), then some peanuts or almonds, overall very pleasant if not very powerful or exciting.
Palate: not very strong but still a medium body ("weaker part" of medium), lacquered wood, a little creamy with vanilla and a hint of raspberry eau-de-vie.
Finish: first a short wave of spiciness, then vanilla, spicy cake and licorice with waves of spices that come and go, actually not bad for a (mainly) young distillate...
Overall I do appreciate that stuff, maybe more so than other Yamazaki stuff as far as quality/price goes. It's easily drinkable, not the most complex of course but it won't distract you from a good cigar (paired with a magnum 46 from Upmann, not the best pairing probably but it was ok). I grabbed it because I wanted to enjoy a japanese whisky without puttin 90 euros in it, however I think the Nikka from the Barrel has a better quality/price ratio in the end (probably my next bottle of japanese whisky).
One thing that's still bothering me: if all these NAS bottlings appear because of the shortage on older whisky, why use a 20yo in this blend since 20 years is realy old for a scotch...? Anyway, it might be the best value for the price in the Yamazaki line, although I'd have to try again the 10yo !
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