Category: Reviews

Review: The Matsui Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakura Cask

Review: The Matsui Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakura Cask

Here it is. One of the first whiskies from the notorious Matsui Shuzo that is–allegedly–actual Japanese whisky! I wrote a whole lot of words about Matsui Shuzo’s phantom Kurayoshi Distillery last year. To briefly summarize: they have historically been pretty deceptive and confrontational, and tend […]

Review: The Cask of Yamazaki 1993, b. 2003, White Oak Hogshead No. 3P70284, Ohmi Aging Cellar Location 54-W-23-4, 12/216, 55% abv.

Review: The Cask of Yamazaki 1993, b. 2003, White Oak Hogshead No. 3P70284, Ohmi Aging Cellar Location 54-W-23-4, 12/216, 55% abv.

  Nose: honey and light sherry notes. Palate: light wood that becomes more strong with time, peat? Sharp, numbing. Not fruity. Not very enjoyable. Finish: short, spicy, sour. The “sharpness” of the flavors was like warm knives touching my tongue, a little numb, it’s ok. […]

Review: Wapirits Tumugi

Review: Wapirits Tumugi

Wapirits Tumugi claims to be Japan’s first spirit for cocktails. “The UK has gin, Russia has vodka, Cuba has rum, Mexico has tequila. And Nippon has Wapirits,” reads the potentially incendiary marketing copy. “But Whiskey Richard, you cover Japanese gin all the time,” you respond. […]

Review: Karuizawa 31, 1981, Shinanoya Private Cask 5th Anniversary, Bourbon Barrel Cask Number 4961, 228 bottles, 60.0% abv.

Review: Karuizawa 31, 1981, Shinanoya Private Cask 5th Anniversary, Bourbon Barrel Cask Number 4961, 228 bottles, 60.0% abv.

This is a commemorative bottling for the 5th anniversary of Shinanoya, a famous food and liquor shop/distributor in Japan. This is the sister label to Karuizawa 16 year cask 5006. The labels depict screen door painting “Lion and Tiger” by 18th century Japanese painter Soga […]

Review: Karuizawa 21, 1991, The School of Malt – Lesson III, Number One Drinks, Selected by Dave Broom, Sherry Butt #9091, 63.7% abv.

Review: Karuizawa 21, 1991, The School of Malt – Lesson III, Number One Drinks, Selected by Dave Broom, Sherry Butt #9091, 63.7% abv.

From the, in my opinion, strange looking The School of Malt, Dave Broom labels. Dave Broom is the author of “Whisky: A User’s Guide” and also writes/reviews for a variety of outlets, such as Whisky Advocate [he also wrote The Way of Whisky: A Journey […]

Review: Kawasaki 29 year old sherry butt #7414, Whisky Live Tokyo 2011

Review: Kawasaki 29 year old sherry butt #7414, Whisky Live Tokyo 2011

Kawasaki is considered the sister distillery to Karuizawa and produced grain whiskies with a supposedly 90% corn mashbill. Unfortunately, times were rough and the distillery closed because the new owners (Kirin) weren’t interested in whisky (but now they produce both malt and grain whiskies at […]

Review: Karuizawa 30 year sherry cask #5347, red geisha label

Review: Karuizawa 30 year sherry cask #5347, red geisha label

Karuizawa is considered the top Japanese whisky brand, well because it tastes good. The typical “lost distillery” story: bad times came upon the distillery, distillery gets acquired by a company that isn’t interested in whisky production, another party comes in and buys all the old […]

Araside, 2010-2017, Duncan Taylor, European Vintage Hogshead Cask 1 of 2, 330 bottles, 55% abv.

Araside, 2010-2017, Duncan Taylor, European Vintage Hogshead Cask 1 of 2, 330 bottles, 55% abv.

  This controversial and somewhat mysterious whisky is supposedly Chichibu distillate, purchased by Akkeshi, who shipped it to Scotland to be matured in a 1969 ex-Glenrothes cask (cask 1 of 2). Rumors are abound that cask 2 is another old Glenrothes cask or ancient Bowmore. […]

Review: Hibiki Blender’s Choice, 43% abv

Review: Hibiki Blender’s Choice, 43% abv

Hibiki Blender’s Choice was probably the most controversial Japanese whisky of 2018. For many, it’s yet another manifestation of the sad reality of Japanese whisky these days. To explain the background a bit for those who may have missed the trend, Japan’s biggest whisky producers–including […]

Review: Hanyu and Kawasaki Blend, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Single Cask Blended Whisky, Exclusively Bottled for The 13th Anniversary of The Mash Tun Tokyo, Cask No. 7880, 100 bottles, 60% abv.

Review: Hanyu and Kawasaki Blend, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Single Cask Blended Whisky, Exclusively Bottled for The 13th Anniversary of The Mash Tun Tokyo, Cask No. 7880, 100 bottles, 60% abv.

A very special 2017 bottling for the infamous Mash Tun Bar in Tokyo, a blend of approximately 70% Hanyu 1991 and approximately 30% Kawasaki 1982. Wonder what the cask number is for. Supposedly many of the Mash Tun bottles have a cat on the label […]