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Technically a “whisky of Japan”, some of this spirit is sourced from overseas, before being combined with local whisky, and matured and bottled at the foot of Mount Daisen. Here it is diluted down to bottling strength with the crystal clear water of the Tottori volcanic springs.
The man behind this whisky, Matsui Shuzo is something of an enfant terrible of the Japanese whisky world. Critics have suggested he has attempted to pass off foreign spirit as Japanese. Shuzo has defended himself by illustrating that combining Scottish whisky with locally made products is common practice in the industry – which is true.
Either way, new rules in Japan’s whisky industry (read our blog on the matter here) mean that this dram, and many others, can no longer style themselves as Japanese. At the end of the day, the whisky’s flavour is what really counts, and this one is delicious. 12 years of maturation in Bourbon casks has produced a creamy, malty and fruity dram.
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White and yellow peach aromas are joined by honeysuckle, toffee, bright oak and malty bread. Some coastal notes of salt and wet rock come through with time, altogether very intriguing.
Honeyed barley and sugared donuts pop up on the palate, with a refreshing zing of citrus rind and the same peaches of the nose. A buttery mouthfeel reveals orchard fruit flavours.
Medium length, with caramelised apple and pear, and a little gentle oak. Whatever the provenance, this is a delicious blended malt.