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Karuizawa 14 Years, Swedish Independent Bottling

Life seems to be going by in fast forward. Back in October last year (I can’t believe it was so long ago!) Tapani Kuusela and Johan Hofvander contacted me to say they had bottled their own Karuizawa 14-year-old single cask whisky (cask 5024). It was distilled back in 1995 and matured and aged in a wine cask. There are 114 bottles at 66 per cent alcohol and Tapani was kind enough to send me a sample. He also advised me to make sure I a…


Suntory Pure Malt Whisky, Aged 7 Years (black label)

Whisky typePure Malt Review by Nonjatta contributor – Dramtastic “Suntory Pure Malt Whisky, aged 7 years (Black label, Yamazaki distillery) 43% alcohol.Nose: Smooth, quite heavy sherry. Oak, raisins, stone fruit (plums?), toffee, wood stain. What seems like a touch of peat or smoke.Palate: Ripe stone fruit, Christmas cake, milk chocolate, raisins, wood stain and again that hint of smoke/burnt twigs/matches…. or somet…


Pure Malt White, Product of Nikka

Whisky typePure Malt Review by Nonjatta contributor – Dramtastic “Pure Malt White, Product of Nikka, 43 per cent alcohol.This whisky is a vatting of Yoichi malt and an Islay whisky.Nose: There is a good whiff of peat as well as walnuts, wet moss, leather, sea spray, pepper, wood stain (after breathing for a while) and nectarines. After some time, there is a hint of lemon.Palate: Nicely oily (nut oil). The peat comes throu…


Suntory Single Malt Whisky Hakushu Aged 15 Years

…ertain candied sweetness. This was not a whisky I would choose to add water to because I enjoy the rush of it at cask strength.General comment: I’ll make no bones about it, I love this whisky. Probably one of my top 5 Japanese malts and I’ve tasted more than a few.Rating: 93/100″ (Dramtastic’s ratings explained.)…


Pure Malt Black, Product of Nikka

Whisky typePure Malt Review by Nonjatta contributor – Dramtastic“Nikka Pure Malt Black. 43 per cent alcoholNose: A big step up from the Nikka Super blended whisky I just sampled. A little bit floral. Peaches, oak, peat, varnish, and pineapple. Malty, complex and smooth.Palate: Very malty, bubblegum (a trait I find in many a Nikka/Yoichi/Miyagikyo whiskies), pepper, nutmeg, sweet peat and gentle smoke.Finish: Excellent lengt…


Rice Whisky?

Dramtastic’s delvings have dug up a “whisky” I was not previously aware of called “Rice Whisky”. I put those inverted commas around the whisky because this is not whisky as we know it: it is 70 per cent malt and 30 per cent rice. I think it was bottled at Kirin’s Fuji Gotemba distillery some time before 2002. I say that because it appears to be labeled as a “Kirin Seagram” whisky and the Kirin-Sea…


Rice Whisky?

Dramtastic’s delvings have dug up a “whisky” I was not previously aware of called “Rice Whisky”. I put those inverted commas around the whisky because this is not whisky as we know it: it is 70 per cent malt and 30 per cent rice. I think it was bottled at Kirin’s Fuji Gotemba distillery some time before 2002. I say that because it appears to be labeled as a “Kirin Seagram” whisky and the Kirin-Sea…


The Cask of Hakushu 1993 Spanish Oak Bota Corta

Distillery – Hakushu Review by Nonjatta contributor – Dramtastic “The Cask of Hakushu 1993 Spanish Oak Bota Corta 60% 3C40789Colour: Reddish brownNose: Sherry, oak, raisins and currantsPalate: Sherry, dark cherry, oak, dark chocolate, blood oranges, raisins, Christmas pudding.Finish: Plums, nutmeg, lemon sherbet, mixed peel zing. Quite Aberlour A’bunadh like but smoother at a similar alcohol content.”Score: 90/…


Suntory “Zen” Pure Malt

…0.” (Dramtastic’s ratings explained) Nonjatta geeky note: The kanji used for this whisky’s name (膳) has no link to Zen Buddhism. I have a feeling many foreigners would assume some kind of connection. From a Japanese perspective, though, calling a whisky after a religious tradition would be a bit odd. Not sure how I would take a Scottish blend called “Calvinism”, come to think of it. The kanji actually has a number o…


The Cask of Hakushu Heavily Peated 1993 (White Oak)

Distillery – Hakushu Review by Nonjatta contributor – Dramtastic “The Cask of Hakushu Heavily Peated 1993 58% White Oak #3B40573Nose: Fairly subtle peat hangs over balanced oak, pine and varnish. Then, after a little time, that Japanese magic of lychees and cherry blossoms breaks the surface, followed by some cereal notes and earthiness. After about 20 mins, some brineyness becomes apparent.Palate: Sweet peat comes throug…