Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013
Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, NAS, 48 %
Well, here it is. The much hyped winner of Jim Murray's "World Whisky of the Year" award. I do think Yamazaki whisky, and Japanese whisky in general, usually is of a very high quality. As such it is great to see one of these whiskies 'win' such an award. The downside, however, is that such an award immediately translates into hype and manic purchases by 'collectors'. Even with a 'limited' run of 18 000 it was immediately sold out when the news spread. If you want to get your hands on a bottle of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 now you have to shell out well above 1000 €. That is silly money, no matter how you spin it!
The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 was released exclusively for Europe, according to Suntory, but the bottles are surely spread all over the world by now.
Well, time to put this whisky to the test. Is it the world's best, simply very good, or merely good?
Nose (23/25): Rich and complex nose. There's a lot going on here - we are dealing with a Japanese whisky, that is for sure. Delightful sherry notes, dried fruits and berries - figs, apricots, raisins, cherries and dates. Soft sugary notes - melted and ever so slightly caramelized. Slight oakiness. Coffee liqueur and cherry liqueur. Elegant and distinguished!
Taste (22/25): Super smooth and soft. Quite light and very well-balanced. Spicy, with dried fruits and medium sweetness. A bit of oak and oranges. Mildly bitter.
Finish (22/25): The slightly burnt notes of caramelized sugar are back adding a robust bed for the lighter fruit notes (I do believe they are bouncing around on that bed!). Sherried, oaky and every so slightly bitter. The finish is medium to long, tempered and rich all the way.
Balance (23/25): I have to admit that out of the four whiskies in the series, this was the best. It is a great whisky, but far from the best in the world. I have also tasted quite a few other whiskies from Yamazaki that I liked better than this one.
Sláinte! - Thomas