Chichibu, 2010-2018, Cream Sherry Hogshead Cask 2633, 48/285, 59.6% abv.

Chichibu has consistently released a limited and experimental bottle for the famous Chichibu whisk(e)y festival. The 2018 release was matured in a cream sherry hogshead for over 7 years, but what is “cream sherry”? Supposedly cream sherry is a blend of two types/groups of sherry: Oloroso and PX. This is why cream sherry is also known as sweet Oloroso. Modern cream sherries are blends of Oloroso OR Amontillado with PX OR Moscatel. The story behind the “cream” naming dates back to the mid-19th century when an aristocratic lady tasted several Bristol’s Milks, the nickname for traditional sherries at that time due to Bristol being the port of entry for sherry, and then tried a new blended type (i.e. Oloroso and PX), after which she exclaimed, “If that is milk, then this is cream.” It’s stuck since then. Makes me wonder if it’s a blend, is it also aged in a cask? And why does it seem like only Chichibu/Hanyu/Ichiro’s Malt use “cream sherry” casks? I am such an amateur.

Nose: lighter version of the classic Chichibu aroma, mostly light toast/vanilla, but this one also has light apples.

Palate: very sweet red apples and grapes on the initial palate, and then major old steamed lotus leaves/expired sherry/tannic flavor. That old leaf flavor dominates but doesn’t transfer to the finish surprisingly. Didn’t feel like its 60% abv though.

Finish: short, light.

I think most of these “whisky” winners have that old steamed lotus leaves/expired sherry flavor, the more the merrier. Noticed it mostly occurs in sherry cask related whiskies. Not a fan, but can appreciate the quality… sometimes. I find it funny when I tell people I didn’t enjoy this one and they give me that “are you crazy” look. Maybe I was wasted when I tasted this…

Grade: C+

Couldn’t find quantifiable, reliable reviews.

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