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A massively underrated Japanese distillery which enjoys great popularity in its home country. Akashi is the only whisky in the world to be overseen by a Toji, or Master Sake Maker – indeed, the distillery was originally founded as a sake and Shochu factory. A blend of both malt and grain whiskies, this is a light, approachable dram which introduces the hallmarks of Japanese whisky: precision, harmony and flavour.
Akashi, Hyogo, Japan
Eigashima Distillery, where this dram is made, is found close to Japan’s inland sea. As such, whiskies from this location breathe in the coastal air, developing a slight – yet detectable – salinity.
This Red Label bottling is an excellent blend of malt and grain whiskies, and appears to display some signs of Sherry maturation, though we can’t be completely sure. Just as good, if not better, than many of the Scottish blended whiskies around.
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A light peppery prickle is joined by a wave of toasted cereals, a little light peach, vanilla, toffee apples and gentle nutmeg.
Light and slightly juicy mouthfeel, with flavours of freshly cut oak, more vanilla and stone fruit, white chocolate, almonds and honeyed malt.
Short and sweet, with a subtle lingering note of white dessert wine, drying oak and barley water.