Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret these whiskies differently from me.
Japanese whisky has taken the world by storm in the last few years. This is in part due to increased production allowing for Japanese whisky to be distributed on a global scale, but also because of a series of awards being won. Most notably in 2015 when Jim Murray by naming Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 as his “World Whisky of the Year” while not putting any Scottish whiskies in the top 3 slots. This caused some controversy ion the whisky world but it also made people take note of Japanese whisky where they may not have done in the past.
Roll on to the present day and Japanese whisky is still just as popular – unfortunately the smaller production rates mean that supplies aren’t able to meet demand and prices are skyrocketing. Some aged statements are being replaced by NAS expressions – something that is being mirrored in the Scotch whisky industry as stocks of aged whiskies are running low. Others such as the Yamazaki 12 year old are still available but in limited supply and so sell out fast when and where they do become available. So onto the dram itself:
Yamazaki 12 Year Old:
Oak giving way to floral and fruity notes – banana with orange and grapefruit adding a citrus edge. Vanilla and fudge come through over time along with an earthy note.
Slight ginger and cinnamon to start but dying fairly quickly and giving way to vanilla and fruity notes. Tropical fruits – mango and grapefruit.
Oak and spice with more ginger notes and a slight nuttiness. More tropical fruit again – including banana.
Click HERE to buy the Yamazaki 12 Year Old.
Be quick though as this, as with many Japanese whiskies, is in high demand and it’s not so easy to get your hands on it these days!
Interestingly the banana notes I got on both the nose and the finish weren’t obvious to me to begin with. I could pick something sweet and fruity up but I just couldn’t place it until being informed by Maltman Mike that the Yamazaki range often contain banana notes, after that it became obvious what it was. Unfortunately for me I really struggle with banana flavours (unless it’s from an actual banana!). As a result the nose and finish on this one just weren’t for me, the palate on the other hand I really enjoyed as I couldn’t pick up any banana there. For those of you who do like banana notes though this would not be an issue for you and would undoubtedly enhance this whisky for you.
I’ve already talked about how prices of Japanese whisky have skyrocketed of late and this is no exception. This currently retails for £89.95 at House of Malt, which for a 12 year old whisky is very high. What you have to remember though is that this is in short supply as are many other aged Japanese whiskies. So is it worth it? Well that’s really up to you to decide, if you think it is too high a price to pay though then why not check out some of the other Japanese whiskies for sale at House of Malt right now.