The third and final bottle in 2019's ESSENCE of SUNTORY WHISKY series is "Yamazaki Distillery Spanish Oak."
Unlike the first and second bottles, the Spanish Oak here is aged in new Spanish Oak, so we can expect the full brunt of the wood coming through. It's a 9-year old per the specs, being distilled back in 2009.
Let's find out how it compares!
Review: THE ESSENCE of SUNTORY WHISKY YAMAZAKI DISTILLERY SPANISH OAK
Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, crème brûlée, and plenty of spicy wood.
Palate: A sweetness bordering on making me think this is in fact bourbon, thick and sharp with a great woody spiciness charcoal. Not really much fruitiness to it, so if that's what you're after, look elsewhere.
Finish: Some of the sweetness returns though it's quite short, with char and a bit of woody bitterness at the tail.
Price paid: 8,640 yen
I must say that this is probably my least-favorite bottle in the series -- we get no fruitiness coming through that we would with an ex-something cask.
In any case, this concludes the 2019 lineup! Since 2019 was a focus on the Yamazaki Distillery, perhaps 2020's series will be all-Hakushu.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.