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

Yoichi “Yoichi” NAS 45% vs Yoichi 10 45%

I was in Hokkaido holidaying recently, and saw an opportunity to visit the Yoichi distillery. The place is massive. I knew it was big but I was not prepared for the actual scale of the property. Where some Scotch distilleries like the ‘small and hidden’ angle. Yoichi’s building are lavishly spread over wide open spaces and enjoy their own gardens and halls.

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As for the whisky, I had not tried the new NAS that replaced the age statement range last year, this would be a good time to pit it against the most basic of the old age statement rage, the 10 year old. There was in fact an  earlier NAS that was bottled at 43%, which was honestly quite rubbish.

Also gone is that wonderful time one could buy distillery specials that went by names like ‘1980s’ ‘1990s’ and ‘2000s’, the 1980s was really good if I might add. Now all you can get are distillery specials that are named ‘Woody and Vanillic’, ‘Sweet and Sherried’ and ‘Peaty and Salty’.


Yoichi “Yoichi” NAS 45% ~2016

Nose Nose: Young but in character. Quite some gentle phenolic notes that appears as lamp oil. Also some pear eau de vie and some obvious but light woodiness that’s closer to sandalwood than fresh american oak though there’s something custard-y about it too. Hints of caraway? Bay? It’s simple and feels obviously young, but the master blender has tried, and mostly succeeded I think, to keep the Yoichi identity and not resort to too much wood tampering.

Taste Palate: I’m afraid it doesn’t live up to it’s already simple nose. Tad hot, tad sweet, very immature, almost rough. Clean clear oily weight. Drops of lamp oil, wisp of smoke. Really not much going on, and little development.

Finish Finish: More of the same, going out on a whimper.


Somewhat decent nose but the tongue tells you this new NAS is not convincing.


Yoichi 10 45% ~ 2014 bottling

Nose Nose: After the NAS, this has the depth of the Mariana Trench. This is actually quite good, beating many Scotch 10 year olds but that is natural, as 10 years in Japan is something like 15 in Scotland? The woody notes appear first with a rich lacquer and scraped scented wood. There is something very inviting in this elegant woodiness – there is rich vanilla pods, the fragrance of sandalwood and burnt incense. Then the more phenolic element appear with the familiar lamp oil, but instead of drops we get a old dry half full can from the back of the garage, sides marked with grease and soot. For a 10 year old it has amazing integration.

Taste Palate: Woody sweet, lots of wood ‘complexity’ actually like on the nose, shows a bit of alcohol too. And then of course those phenolic with that get drier, with some nut oils and leather too. Overall more peaty than the nose suggests.

Finish Finish: Medium long, spicy, slight smoke, leathery and tangy.


While great in its own band, this 10 still seems a little immature for Yoichi. I think the 15 was probably the sweet spot in the now discontinued core range.

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This entry was posted on August 22, 2016 by in Yoichi and tagged , , .
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