Tuesday 25 January 2022

Mars Tsunuki Peated [Tasted #559]

Rounding out our look at just what Japanese whisky is these days, we come to the final whisky (for now) - Mars Tsunuki Peated. Mars is by no means a new entry into the world of Japanese whisky, but Tsunuki is,  having only started distilling in 2016.

Located in Kagoshima (on the site of a previous ageing warehouse), Tsunuki distillery was designed to provide some variety in the Mars whisky portfolio - a fact we first learned from the president of Mars (Kazuto Hombo) himself when he visited HK a few years ago.

So, we're talking about a ~3yo whisky (distilled 2016-2017, bottled 2020), said to be peated to between 20-50ppm. I enjoyed the first Tsunuki ("The First"), so was keen to see how it takes to a bit of peat...let's go:

Mars Tsunuki Peated Single Malt Japanese Whisky (52% ABV, 3yo, Kagoshima, Japan, $2,200HKD)
Colour: Bright yellow gold.

Nose: Initial campfire smoke, then waves of yellow and green fruit (peach, pear, green apples, rockmelon). Not tropical, but a distinct fruitiness - something I've found on a lot of these younger Mars releases, from both Shinshu and Tsunuki distilleries.

Palate: Less obviously peated, though there is some background smoke. Melon, peach, earthy subtly-smoked honey, and then (interestingly) some BBQ-smoked salmon!

Finish: Long, with notes of oak, slight smoke and a slight tannic note towards the end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. Not overly complex, but tasty and very drinkable.

Thanks again to AF Trade for the review bottles / samples, and for bringing all these proper Japanese whiskies into HK!


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