Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve

"Can somebody please lend me a duster for the nose? Too weak and subdued in my opinion, the palate was very pleasant and interesting, though"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Another Japanese NAS, which was released toghether witht he Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve. Yamazaki was the first commercial distillery in Japan opened in the town of Yamazaki in 1923 by Suntory-founder Shinjiro Torii. Famous for its sherry-matured spirits, the standard aged bottlings (12, 18 and 25 years) have become expensive investments for some time. The decreasing stocks have made Japanese whisky with age statement rare, hence the reason for Suntory to go to a non-age statement version. Nice bottle and label design. But obviously we are most interested in the contents.

Nose

Surprisingly dusty! There are some red and tropical fruits, but they seem to be covered with dust (!?). In addition, I find notes of white chocolate, hazelnut, lychees, peaches and strawberries, but these are fairly weak. I notice also a bit of sulphur and some vinegar, both not the most agreeable scents. Then fruity red and white wine, maybe even champagne. Overall, the nose is sweet and dusty, and a bit acidic. The fruits never seem to manage to come out on top.

Taste

Oh, this is better. Salty tea and Japanese spices. The palate is drying, spicy, and slightly smoky. All very pleasant. Notes, well I should say hints, of white chocolate, hazelnuts, peaches and lychees (as in the nose). The cask influence is barely noticeably, which can be good, but in this case a bit more cask influence might have pushed the intensity right up. Nevertheless, the taste supersedes the nose hands down.

Overall

I love the different perspective on a sherry-matured single malt. But… for me it stays too feeble. As if somebody needs to clean the dust of the palate. I would definitely like to try a properly matured version. If only the prices were not so… well you know the story.

What others say

Whiskybase: 83.17 (285 votes) * @Somersetwhisky: 87+/100
Read for yourself

A sample of this was purchased from

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
40%
Peat/smoke
5%
Nose 75%
Taste 82%
Balance 80%
Depth 79%
Finish 77%
Score