Category: Reviews

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 […]

Review: Nikka Tsuru 17, Blended, 43% abv.

Review: Nikka Tsuru 17, Blended, 43% abv.

  The family name of the founder of Nikka, Taketsuru, 竹鶴, is composed of the Chinese characters for “bamboo crane”. These are also the same characters that appear on many Nikka products, such as the Taketsuru 17 and 21. I remember highballing the whole under […]

Review: Mars Komagatake, Yakushima Aging Cellar, d.2014, 1,140 bottles, 59% abv.

Review: Mars Komagatake, Yakushima Aging Cellar, d.2014, 1,140 bottles, 59% abv.

Mars, perhaps the third largest whisky distiller in Japan, has its history in Kagoshima as a Japanese shochu maker, Hombo Shuzo (shuzo = sake brewery/shochu distillery). Hombo Shuzo essentially restarted whisky-making operations in Nagano with the Shinshu distillery. To help restart, their pot stills from […]

Review: Kanosuke New Born

Review: Kanosuke New Born

The latest out of Kagoshima’s Kanosuke Distillery is their new born, named simply “Kanosuke New Born.” Distilled earlier this year, it’s been aged for eight months in American white oak ex-shochu casks. Specifically, those casks that used to contain Komasa Syuzo’s Mellow Kozuru brand of […]

Review: Kyoto Dry Gin Ki No Bi Edition K

Review: Kyoto Dry Gin Ki No Bi Edition K

The Kyoto Distillery surprised us this past weekend with the sudden release of Ki No Bi “Edition K.” Currently only available at Amazon JP, Edition K brings Ki No Bi into the cask-aged gin realm once again. I say once again since we’ve already seen […]