Sunday 15 November 2015

Tasted #226: Yamazaki Single Cask Spanish Oak 2003 11yo

Back in December last year (during a holiday in Japan), we stumbled across Suntory's "Whisky Shop W" in Osaka (well, I say stumbled...truth be told I'd planned it weeks in advance it was the first place we visited when we arrived in Osaka....)

Without going into too much detail about Whisky Shop W (read this Nonjatta post for a great overview), it's Suntory's own shop in Osaka, and despite being small, always has a few goodies in store for the whisky lover, such as their 300mL shop-only bottlings of Hakushu, Yamazaki and Chita, which are incredible value and sadly sell for stupid amounts of money here in Hong Kong (we opened ours and shared it with friends).

Occasionally though, they have something even more special - sometimes behind the counter, sometimes something that you have to ask really nicely for.

On our visit, it was this 11 year old Yamazaki single cask, which I was lucky enough to pick up a bottle for (from memory) about $25AUD / $140HKD. I tried to buy two (the bottles are only 190mL) but they were strict - one bottle only. Understandable when I later saw these go for 12 times the price in Hong Kong...

Yamazaki Single Cask 2003-2014 Spanish Oak Bota Corta (55% ABV, Cask #ADDY3038, 11yo, Yamazaki, Japan, no longer available)
Colour: Coffee. Dark, rich, coffee.

Nose: Rich, juicy plums and Christmas cake.

Palate: Rich red berries, luscious, juicy cherries,  and some cocoa. Coffee, brazil nuts and big Oloroso-style notes. So far - incredible.

Finish: Long, intense and tannic. Slightly sour but not in an off-putting way. Residual brazil nuts and cherries, and a mouth-puckering Oloroso sherry-like finish that makes you want to come back for more. If only the bottle held more....

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100. Amazing - one of the best single cask Japanese whiskies I've ever tried.


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