Ohishi Whisky Sherry, NAS, 42.3 %
The Ohishi Whisky Sherry is not whisky as we know it. This is a product pushing against the very fabric of whisky space. It is produced by Ohishi Distillery, Japan, traditionally a shochu producer. The surprise might therefore not be very big when I reveal that this whisky is not made from malted barley, but rather from malted and unmalted rice. In other words, it is a product that perhaps resembles shochu more than whisky. But these days, whenever you combine the words ‘Japan’ and ‘whisky’ in a product, that product will typically fly off the shelves at prices that would make any decent salesman blush.
For the rice nerds among my readers, I am happy to report that the mash bill for Ohishi Whisky Sherry consists of gohyakumanishi rice and mochi rice.
The Ohishi Whisky Sherry is for sale in the US through the importer Georgia Royal Collection Inc. out of South San Francisco, California. The cost is around USD 80 for a bottle.
Nose: Reminds me more of rice wine, than sake right off. There’s a clear note of fermented rice, that’s for sure. A bit sour and with a slight alcohol bite to it. Cool sherry notes lingering in the back. It feels somewhat aggressive at first, but does calm down after a few minutes.
Taste: Thin, if not skinny, mouthfeel. Alcohol, rice and rosewater. Not much more to report.
Finish: Medium long finish. Slightly bitter. Traces of sherry influence appear, with dried fruits and a touch of caramel. In the end it appears both dry and watery at the same time (yeah, go figure!).
Comments: Confused much? Well, I certainly am. What I do know though, is that this is not really a whisky as I know it.