Review: Kanosuke New Born Peated

Tonight we have the third and probably final official release in the Kanosuke New Born series from Kagoshima’s Kanosuke Distillery.

Earlier this week had Komasa Jyozo’s Mellowed Kozuru shochu, specifically the single cask version. Now that we’ve paid homage to Komasa’s roots, it’s time to revisit their whisky operation.

2020 is the third year of the Kanosuke New Born series. I liked 2018’s initial release quite a lot, the second release slightly less, and now here we are for the third release.

This could very well be the last standard release in the New Born series since Kanosuke Distillery began distilling in November 2017. From next month they’ll have whisky on their hands rather than new born, at least by Scotch standards.

And this release uses imported peated malt, distilled in August 2018. It’s matured for two years in American oak puncheon. Notably, Komasa doesn’t say that those puncheons contained Mellowed Kozuru at some point, so I suspect that like 2019’s release (ex-Bourbon) it’s pulled from different a kind of cask in their arsenal.

Let’s get involved.

Review: Kanosuke New Born Peated

I normally don’t comment on color, but it’s pretty damn beautiful.

Nose: There’s initial unripe green fruits, freshly cut ginger, and nuttiness. Later the peat starts to come through with a slight medicinal edge. Raisins at the back.

Palate: Quite salty and bitter. Dig deeper for mint, spices, and sea spray. Grapefruit and dried orange highlight some woodiness. That ocean influence is front and center. Rich for a two year maturity. Water helps calm things down significantly, bringing forth the malt.

Finish: Oatmeal, malt, oaky. I found some soapiness, and the medicinal notes make a comeback alongside peat smoke.

Score: B-

Price paid: 3500 yen, 200ml, 58% abv

While the 2018 release was mellow and chill af, 2020’s is a bit overbearing and needs some help calming down.

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