Friday 13 August 2021

Kanosuke First Edition Single Malt Japanese Whisky (2021) [Tasted #530]

First cab off the tasting rank (following our look into the state of Japanese whisky these days) is the Kanosuke First Edition. Part of a wave of new Japanese whisky producers, Kanosuke opened their Kagoshima-based distillery in 2017, commencing production in 2018 in an idyllic setting literally a stone's throw from Fukiagehama beach, on the Western coast of Japan.

Destined to do things a little differently (and give themselves plenty of options), the distillery installed three, not two pot stills (all of different shapes with different neck sizes and lyne arm angles) to allow a variety of new make spirit to be produced. The whisky for the "First Edition", which is said to number around 15,000 bottles, includes spirit from all 3 stills, aged in several different casks but primarily re-charred American white oak ex-“Mellowed Kozuru” aged Shochu casks.

The distillery released a number of in-progress "new born" sample bottles over the past few years, but 2021 saw their whisky reach 3 years old, and as such, in June Japanese whisky fans were treated to the first Kanosuke whisky.

Hong Kong distributors AFTrade were kind enough to send the whisky for review, so without further ado, here we go...

Kansouke Single Malt Japanese Whisky "First Edition" 2018-2021 (58% ABV, 3yo, Kagoshima, Japan, available from AFTrade)
Colour: Deep amber-red.

Nose: Herbal lozenges initially, followed by the rich berry flavours you get from red jube lollies, then blackcurrant Soothers. Sultanas round things out.

Palate: Easy-drinking, mellow, with red / berry confectionary notes, currants & blackberries. Then come raisins soaked in sherry, a slightly wine-esque grape note, and some vanilla-infused oak after time.

Finish: Long, and follows the palate well (a well-integrated malt). There's a little citrus that comes through right towards the end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. For a 3yo whisky, and a first release, a very solid showing. Can't wait to see what interesting releases come out in the future, especially given the variety of spirit the distillery plans to produce.

Whilst AFTrade appear to be sold out of the Kanosuke First Edition individually, it is still available (at the time of writing) in a pack with the Sakurao First release, which we'll have up on the blog shortly).


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