Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky, NAS, 48 %
This is my first review of a whisky from Helios Distillery. The distillery is located on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Helios was started back in 1961, then with rum distillation. Now they also produce awamori, liqueur, shochu, umeshu, whisky and even a craft beer.
The Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky is made using Japanese malts whisky (probably distilled at Helios) combined with selected malt whiskies from around the world. The blend is then finished in casks made from yoshino-sugi (also known as “Japanese cedar tree”). That probably makes this the first whisky ever to be finished in yoshino-sugi casks.
Here is a fun piece of information from the official blurb:
“Kamiki whisky producer is blessed by priests from Ōmiwa Shrine which is one of the oldest extant shrines in Japan and the protector of alcohol-producing families.”
Nose: Gingerbread and white pepper! Green tea, toasted oak, cinnamon and hints of dried fruits. A touch of red berries and dark chocolate.
Taste: Medium to full-bodied. Spicy up front, with pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Quite nutty in character. It feels both fizzy and chewy.
Finish: Medium long finish. The cinnamon and gingerbread notes dominate now. I also find notes of citrus and green tea. A herbal freshness towards the end.
Comments: Quite unusual and well worth a try.