The Essence of Suntory Whisky 2019

The Essence of Suntory Whisky 2019

A few days back I reviewed the three whiskies in The Essence of Suntory Whisky 2018. Today I will take a closer look at the three whiskies in The Essence of Suntory Whisky 2019. Remember this is a series of whiskies released to bars in Japan only.

The focus this time around is on the Yamazaki Distillery, and all the three releases have a heavy Spanish touch.

Yamazaki Distillery Montilla Wine Cask 2009/2019, 9 YO, 55 %

suntory-essence-2019-montilla-wine.jpg

The first whisky on the list is the Yamazaki Distillery Montilla Wine Cask 2009/2019. A 9 year old whisky matured in Spanish oak ex-Montilla fortified wine casks. As far as I know Montilla is typically not a fortified wine, so I guess these casks are special..

Nose: Almost smoky, toasted oak, warm spices, Some fruitiness. Sugary. Cinnamon. Improves with time. Earthy spices now.

Taste: Rich mouthfeel with medium body. A bit overpowering on the oak and spices. Peppery. Hot embers without the peat.

Finish: Medium to long finish. More sugary now. Bitter-ish sidenote towards the end.

Comment: A weird one!

Score 85/100

Yamazaki Distillery Spanish Oak 2009/2019, 9 YO, 56 %

suntory-essence-2019-spanish-oak.jpg

OK, second whisky out is the Yamazaki Distillery Spanish Oak 2009/2019. Again a 9 year old, this time matured in virgin Spanish oak.

Nose: Apples with honey and cinnamon. Hints of leather and polish. Sugary and fruity. Light spices. Cedar wood. Looove it!

Taste: Rich and full-bodied. Intensely sugary - white sugar, fruit sugar. White pepper. Mint, a touch green. Strawberry ice cream.

Finish: Medium to long finish. It is sugary still, but I detect more mint. Camphor is also added towards the end, and then malt drops.

Comment: What an amazing balance. A fantastic dram!

Score 93/100

Yamazaki Distillery Refill Sherry Cask 2008/2019, 10 YO, 53 %

suntory-essence-2019-refill-sherry.jpg

The third and last whisky in the series is the Yamazaki Distillery Refill Sherry Cask 2008/1019. Slightly older than the other two, at 10 years old.

Nose: Oooh, this is delicate. Almonds and marzipan. Hints of oranges. Dried fruits. Soft oakiness. Raisins and dates.

Taste: Super soft and creamy, full-bodied. Caramel sauce, caramel pudding, and almond paste. Hints of polish and soft notes of perfume. Mild pepper.

Finish: Medium to long finish. Marzipan and dried fruits. Plums and raisins. Warm finish.

Comment: Lovely!

Score 89/100

All in all another great series from Suntory. I only wish (and hope) that whiskies like these - with age statements and at cask strength, will once again become available to us consumers again sometime in the near future. In the mean time we have to suffer through enjoying this whisky at fabulous bars in Japan.

Sláinte!
- Thomas



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