The Nose: A fairly light spirit, in some ways whisky-like, in other ways, not so much. Initially, what comes through the most is a general sake note and…acetone. I’ve tried to find a more appetizing way to describe it, but acetone is the best descriptor. That said, it doesn’t necessarily smell like heavy solvent. It has the slightly sour, slightly floral quality of acetone without much of the solvent-y heat. There’s a honeyed sweetness and a subtle winey nuttiness as well, almost fino sherry-esque. Even more subtle are the hints of milky rice pudding and dusty rice flour. A bit of open time, the acetone blows off and is replaced by more sake notes.
The Palate: A nice, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and a flavor that’s weightier than the nose, but still relatively light. More honey and crisp, tart apples and touches of Ginjo-shu sake. There’s a bit of caramel and orgeat syrup as well. The almond quality is less sherry-like here, a bit more toasted, There are some mild, youngish oak notes with hints of clove and anise towards the end.
The Finish: Subdued with lingering light oak tannins, candied ginger, and toasted Marcona almonds.
is one of the more recent Japanese distilleries to make the jump across the Pacific Ocean to our bedraggled shores. Their is made from mostly Mochigome, a glutinous Japonica rice, more commonly associated with the paste-like dessert mochi. A smaller percentage of Gohyakumangoku completes the grainbill for this whisky. Gohyakumangoku is one of the more popular sake rices and is known for producing a lighter flavor profile. The Brandy Cask whisky is aged for an undisclosed amount of time in ex-Cognac casks.
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