Thursday 22 January 2015

Tasted #149 - #152: Hakushu 18, New Make, "smoky" component and Chita New Make

As mentioned the other day, our visit to the Suntory Hakushu distillery last month uncovered an amazing find in the form of the distillery bar, with some seriously cheap whiskies for tasting (see the article or photo below for examples), many of which aren't available to purchase, or likely taste anywhere else in the world (except perhaps the Yamazaki distillery).

Of course, being, we weren't going to taste all those whiskies and not write about them, were we? No, no we weren' here are the Hakushu and Chita whiskies (and spirits) we tasted:

Hakushu 18 (43% ABV, 18yo, Japan, $250AUD$2,400HKD)
Colour: Deep orange copper
Nose: Earthy, hints of pine needles. The slightest hint of smoke.
Palate: Spicy earthiness, moss, some sesame.
Finish: Long, smooth and enjoyable. Moss, oak, and sesame crackers.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100.

Hakushu new make spirit (70% ABV, unaged, Japan, not available for purchase)
Colour: Deep, dark copper...ha no, I kid. Clear as water, obviously.
Nose: Grassy earthiness, with some kitchen cleaning products (but in a good way...?)
Palate: Earthy bubblegum.
Finish: Hot, as expected, and medium length. The alcohol esters are there, but they don't ruin the finish.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. As far as new makes go, not a bad one. And quite different to the usual banana / strong bubble gum notes you get on a lot of others.

"Smoky" component malt for Hakushu 12 (50% ABV, 12yo, Japan, not available for purchase)
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: Campfire smokiness, obvious peat, with an earthy undertone.
Palate: Fresh woodfired bread, shortbread biscuits, and a lot of peat smoke.
Finish: Medium and peaty to the end.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100.

Chita New Make Grain Distillate (58% ABV, unaged, Japan, not available for purchase)
Colour: Clear as day
Nose: Windex, spirytus. Not a lot of complexity.
Palate: Surprisingly light - very few discernible qualities. Some bananas, some pineapple. Quite hot.
Finish: Short and plain, with no real stand-out characteristics.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 80/100. Nowhere near as complex or enjoyable as the Hibiki NMS.


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