Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Tasted #243: Mars Komagatake "Single Sherry Cask" bottled for Mitsukoshi Isetan (Cask #1436)

Turns out that when I was in Japan recently I'd picked an excellent week to be there. Not just because of Whisky Live / Modern Malt Market, but also because a few limited Japanese whiskies were released that week (and as most of you would know, if you put the words "limited" and "Japanese whisky" together, the result is typically a quick sell-out).

One of those whiskies was a 3 year old single sherry cask Mars Komagatake, bottled at 58% for the large department store Isetan. I spotted this one when wondering around the store's basement level, and noticed it was available for tasting, along with another "Super Heavily Peated" release. Whilst the tastings didn't come as cheap as Liquors Hasegawa, 1000yen (approx $11.50AUD / $65HKD) seemed a very fair price to pay for a (generous) sample of each.

I enjoyed both, but preferred the sherry cask and took home two bottles (one of which was subsequently polished off in one sitting with a few good friends a few weeks ago).

I was lucky I bought them when I did, as the "Super Heavily Peated" sold out while I was there, and I heard the sherry cask sold out just a few hours later.

That's Japanese whisky these days I guess!

Mars Komagatake "Single Sherry Cask" bottled for Mitsukoshi Isetan (58% ABV, Cask #1436, 3yo, one of 297 bottles, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, no longer available)
Colour: Light straw (it looks darker in the photo).

Nose: Sherried peat, with some bananas. I actually had to check to make sure I hadn't switched the glasses - there was quite a lot of peat on this one (I hadn't - there was even more peat on the "Super Heavily Peated").

Palate: Big zingy peat hit at first. Lots of rich caramels and smoked meats. Mocha notes too.

Finish: Long, ever so slightly hot, and full of smoky barbecued meat. Smoked pork neck at the very end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. Clearly young, but very very enjoyable (which might explain how a few of us polished off a bottle in one sitting...)


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