Review: Kanosuke New Born Distillery Limited #3, Cask #20083

A while back we reported that Kagoshima’s Kanosuke Distillery launched a line of single cask bottlings sold only at the distillery and their online store. Tonight we’re drinking volume 3 in that series, cask #20083, which is a white wine cask finish.

As we approach the release of Kanosuke’s first single malt, it’s probably best to familiarize ourselves with the full spectrum of what the distillery has to offer. I liked the initial (8 month) New Born release back in 2018 a lot, then the (2 year) New Born 2020 Peated release not quite as much.

This brings us to cask #20083. This one is a white wine cask finish, where it spent 2 years in an American white oak barrel–probably ex-shochu as is standard at Kanosuke–then another nine months in a white wine cask. We don’t know exactly what kind of white wine. Like prior releases, this one is also 200ml at cask strength 57% abv.

It was distilled in February 2018 and bottled in November 2020, so a total of around 33 months. That’s only three months short of officially qualifying as a “Japanese whisky,” so this ought to serve as the final reference point before we get Single Malt Kanosuke in June 2021.

Let’s crack her open. This is one of 1043 bottles.

Review: Kanosuke New Born Distillery Limited #3, Cask #20083

Nose: Malty zinfandel, fistful of raisins, bright red cherries.

Palate: Explosion of grape jelly with a tint of woodiness. Water brings out mint.

Finish: Mellow sweetness followed by lingering malt, chocolate brownie.

Score: A-

Price paid: 3500 yen pre-tax, 200ml, 57% abv

Another great release by Kanosuke. Given this is a single cask it’s natural to expect some particular elements be emphasized more than others. The wine cask finish certainly shines through here, just shy of being too much. It will be great to put the distillery’s blending skill to the test in June.

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