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Chichibu Over 10 Year Old Artist International Anniversary 10th (56.5% abv)

As with all great whiskies, the first tasting of this Chichibu reveals only a few of the many secrets and treasures found in its palette of flavours and aromas. With impressive complexity, it allows the taster the pleasure of meandering long, far and wide across luxurious and winding lands where, at any moment, the unexpected may be found. To make the most of the present moment, we must stay both alert and grounded. This paradox recalls the famous haiku of Matsuo Bashõ (1644 – 1695), “From which tree in bloom, I know not, but what fragrance!” This version also reminds us why, in 2019, Ichiro Akuto was named Master Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge.

 

 

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Hakushu Bourbon Barrel (48.2% abv)

This Hakushu whisky was aged entirely in first fill bourbon barrels. Being non-chill filtered, it has resulted in a great deal of creamy sweetness. This whisky was distilled at Hakushu distillery surrounded by forest at the foot of the Southern Japan Alps – beautiful!

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Japanese Blended Whisky 21 Year Old Batch 5 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) (47.7% abv)

“That Boutique-y Whisky Company has got another brilliant batch of its Japanese Blended Whisky #1 ready! The fifth batch is an extraordinary 21 year old expression, packing oodles of red fruit, gingerbread and salted butter notes, alongside wafts of fresh florals and nutty oak.” Master of Malt

Nose: Plenty of sherried funk at first, with hazelnut, dark chocolate, ripe blackcurrants, soft peaches and Christmas pudding. Lean gamey savouriness and a touch of spent firework keeps things interesting. A powerful hit of warm out of the oven gingerbread is joined in the backdrop by sweet tobacco, waxy leather and browning apples.

Palate: A ripe and refined mix of red and black fruits initially, followed by cherry cola, dried orange peel and creamy fudge. Nutty oak, exotic honey and bittersweet herbs develop, alongside winter spice and cherry blossom.

Finish: Dried mint and thyme linger among salty butter and resinous sherry notes.

Kaiyo ‘The Sheri’ Japanese Whisky (46% abv)

Kaiyō whisky is matured in the finest Japanese Mizunara oak casks. These casks are handmade due to Mizunara oak’s delicate wood grain. They are among the rarest casks in the world and are considered amongst the finest in which to mature whisky. After years of maturing Kaiyō’s casks go on a final maturation at sea voyage for up to 3 months, leaving from Osaka Japan. The movement, temperature variation, and air pressue changes aid the mizunara oak in releasing its delicate flavors and aromas.

The Sheri is a limited release, a once in a lifetime whisky considered by Kaiyō’s master blender to be the finest work of his career. Aged in a combination of Mizunara Oak, oloroso sherry, and pedro ximenez sherry casks. Bottled at 46% ABV and non chill-filtered. Only 450 cases produced.

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Kaiyo Cask Strength Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky (53% abv)

Kaiyo Whisky is matured in the finest Japanese Mizunara oak casks. These casks are handmade due to Mizunara oak’s delicate wood grain. They are among the rarest casks in the world and are considered the finest in which to mature whisky. After years of maturing our casks go on a final maturation at sea voyage for up to 3 months, leaving from Osaka Japan. Kaiyo Cask Strength is extremely smooth with great complexity and a lovely balance of fruit,silky malt, and a touch of dark chocolate.

 

Kaiyo Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky (43% abv)

Kaiyo’s stock of Mizunara oak casks is its pride and joy. Known to impart a subtle and unusual collection of aromas and flavours to whisky during maturation, it’s this wood which is often credited with setting Japanese whisky apart. Kaiyo doubles down on its cask maturation, sending the full casks off to sea for months at a time, allowing the natural motion to ensure constant movement, and thus contact between whisky and wood.

92 Points Whisky Advocate

Kaiyo Peated Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky (46% abv)

Matured in the finest handmade Japanese Mizunara oak casks. Made from 100% malted barley. After aging for years, they leave port in Osaka, Japan to mature at sea for an additional 3 months. This is the first time they’ve tried to work with peat and as a result, it’s very limited.  Sweet Peat, smokey nose with hints of nuts, sweet fruit and honey. A Sweet long drying finish.

Kujira Ryukyu 20 Year Old Japanese Whiskey (43% abv)

Founded in 1952, Kumesen Syuzo started on distilling alcoholic beverages, unique to Okinawa islands of Japan, also know as Ryuku islands. Then around 1989, this innovative distillery started to age them in oak barrels, creating a unique kind of ji-whisky in its own category, thus named it the Ryukyu Whisky. With 20 years maturing in bourbon casks, Kujira as a single grain whisky provides a wonderful taste profile that has distinguished itself from its malt counterparts and creates a refreshing choice for spirits lovers.

  • Nose: herbs, various plum fruits hint, prune, mint candy.
  • Palate: balanced light body, sweet, vanilla, spice, smoky woodiness.
  • Finish: licorice, Japanese pepper, medium finish.

Finalist (Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2019)
Gold Medal (76th Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, 2019)
Scored 93 pts ”As Excellent, Highly Recommended” (Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2019)
2nd Place for scored 92.2 pts (International Spirit Competition 2019)

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Kura The Whisky (40% abv)

The Helios distillery in Okinawa Japan may be more well-known for producing rums and awamori, but they been known to dip their toe in the world of whisky. Kura The Whisky is a blended malt produced by Helios and bottled at 40% ABV. Nice Whisky!

Mars Shinshu Iwai Whisky

Kiichiro Iwai, the name sake for this Mars Whisky, was a silent pioneer of Japan whisky. This whisky is inspired by great whiskies of America. A majority of corn balanced with light malt aged in ex bourbon barrels. Ideal for daily sipping, in a mint julep or an old fashioned.
TASTING NOTES: Sweet with fruit flavors like pear, quince and hints of red fruits and vanilla.

Matsui “Peated” Single Malt Japanese Whisky (48% abv)

Kurayoshi Distillery lies between Osaka and Hiroshima in the foothills of Mount Daisen, where it produces single malt whiskies brought to proof with soft, mountain spring water. The label, adorned by Hokusai’s The Great Wave, portends this whisky’s rush of flavor: satisfyingly smoky, with noticeable structure and complexity. Kippers on the nose, with burnt aromatic grasses, cocoa, and jellied fruits, and a smoky palate of red apple, ginger, pepper, orange, and mango. Smoke writhes like a serpent on the finish, sliding off the walls dripping with sweet tropical fruits. —Jonny McCormick

Awards

Whisky Advocate Top 20 Whiskies #19

San Francisco World Spirits Competition “Gold Medal”

Matsui “Sakura Cask” Single Malt Japanese Whisky (48% abv)

Matured in the wood of the cherry tree, this does impart a spicier than normal intensity, which in itself closes out the barley. Just drips with personality.    Jim Murray’s Whisky bible, 92.5 points

The Matsui Sakura Cask, Double distilled in pot stills then aged in Sakura oak cask, the famous and iconic Japanese cherry tree. This tree holds an important place in Japanese culture. Often used as a metaphor on ephemerality of beauty and life. It always has been a source of inspiration for Japanese artists.

International Whisky Competition “Best Japanese Whisky NAS” 

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