A new Japanese blend in Europe - Yamazakura 16 YO
Yamazakura 16 YO, 40%
So, I come back with some short tasting notes here on Whisky Saga, and through nefarious means I've managed to nab a sample of this Japanese whisky before Thomas did.
Yamazakura 16 YO is a blended whisky from the Sasanokawa Shuzo liquor company. They've produced sake and shochu since 1765, and from 1946 they have been making whisky. The Yamazukara 16 YO is exclusive to the European market, and is made from 80% maize, and 20% malt. It was matured for 16 years on ex-bourbon casks before it was blended in steel tanks and then returned for another period on ex-bourbon casks.
It might be interesting to know that Yamazakura means "mountain cherry blossom".
It is available in Norway at NOK 1554,80 (3817101) and in Sweden at SEK 1149,- (85663)
Nose (21/25): Sweet, bourbon vanilla, coconut, malty toastiness, sweet fruit. There's some spice (nutmeg, cloves and allspice). It is nice and round. Gives me associations to Christmas.
Taste (20/25): Malty bread up front, quite sweet and a bit sour, oaky spices. There's some fruit that hovers somewhere between figs and sweet pears, maybe a bit of ripe banana.
Finish (22/25): Grows on the finish, the oak and sweetness dominates.
Balance (20/25): A nice blended whisky. It's a bit "middle of the road", and not terribly exciting. I picture this as a good sipping whisky, but not something I'd dive deep into to savour and get lost in. I feel it would have been more interesting if this whisky was released at 43 or 46% ABV. There are some interesting flavours and aromas here, but I feel that they don't come to their full right. Then again, there's nothing wrong with a whisky that doesn't try to be terribly deep and interesting for us whisky geeks either.
Sláinte! - Kjell Ove