So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Whiskybutler March 2016 box – Nikka Date, Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries, Hakushu 18, Nikka Taketsuru 21

Whiskybutler’s March box comes with a Japanese theme, with 2 Nikka blends – one on the younger fresher end, the other a grandpa for blends. Also a Suntory Hakushu and something vatted from Ichiro Akuto, founder of the new Japanese independent, Chichibu.


Nikka Date 43%

The malt in this one is supposedly mostly Miyagikyo’s along with a large grain component. Target market should be the highball drinking young salaryman, and anyone who wants a light and pleasing whisky,

Nose Nose: Clearly designed to be a light and fragrant blend that doesn’t occupy your senses too much. Touch of nail varnish, feels like lots of grain in here. Hint of maybe the one sherry cask in the vatting – empty raisin box and clean splintered white wood. Some light lifting florals. Lacquer box. Yes clean fresh light simple, and with ice.

Taste Palate: A bit more spirity and prickly hot on the tongue, but its all clean grainy sweetness, some wood, some vanilla too. Brisk and fresh like a cool breeze and the finish arrives.

Finish Finish: Tad short, light florals and fruity esters. Highball friendly.


Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries 46%

It’s called double distilleries because this is a vatting of malt from Ichiro Akuto’s new Chichibu distillery, and grandfather Akuto’s old Hanyu distillery. So there’s certainly some older stuff in here. But how much?

Nose Nose: This one has some highland flavours! Reminds me of a young Clynelish! Chalk, moss, ground up mineral salts. White wine flavours. Poached pears in honey syrup, touch of nutmeg. Vanilla and woody notes. Not too complex, but really rather good.

Taste Palate: Sweeter and woodier on the palate than the nose suggest, more fresh bourbon wood note and cooked fruit. Mineral notes have taken a backseat to the big woody sweetness, but a bit of petrichor remains. Quite the pleasing drink really.

Finish Finish: Medium long, sweet wood and vanilla.



Hakushu 18 46%

Needs no introduction, the 18 yo iteration of the Hakushu distillery. How close is it to the 12 stylistically? I have not tried this 18 before.

Nose Nose: Very nice. Its not a soft nose, but quite firm with leafy sappy wet bark. A bit earthy too with fallen logs, gravel and pine needles. The sweetness does come at the back of the nose but it says wood and vanilla, also burnt sugar.

Taste Palate: Good arrival. In fact rather grippy and firm, and very bracing. Still very green with these sappy tannic minty notes, maybe a bit more old paper and old wax drippings. Sweeter here, but the nose was better.

Finish Finish: Rather long, with sugared celery and cucumber juice, rather dry and rather good.


Nikka 21 Taketsuru 43%

At 21 a blend is considered very mature, and this one has picked up a lot of awards. Truth is I have not tried a lot of these regular Japanese whiskies, so the anticipation mounts…

Nose Nose: Sweeter and more rounded but much less intense than the Hakushu. Feels like a lot of sweet grains went in here as well. Popcorn sweetness, dried plums, but also a pinch of tobacco, sandalwood and spice. Good blending, just not a very big whisky at all.

Taste Palate: Drier notes arrive first, leafy tobacco, dry sherry, aromatic sandalwood. Well it is elegant. Some vanilla and woodspice milling about. Wait… actually getting drier with ligher notes like white pepper and something like dried unsweet plums. Finish arrives soon after.

Finish Finish: Medium, that was unexpectedly quick for a 21 year old. Dry, and sharp, astringent with herbal aftertones.


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This entry was posted on March 10, 2016 by in Chichibu, Hakushu, Hanyu, Nikka and tagged , , , .
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