Whisky 2017 – 212-214

So a very difficult week for me in my life, it’s funny that whisky tasting helped to bring me out of my funk – concentrating on the nose and palate was very good for my head and heart. These three were really special drams, thanks to Yao at the Elysian for looking after me.

212 – Signatory Glenlivet for thewhiskybarrel.com 10th Anniversary 2006 11YO Cask #900552 *
Chocolate, dried apricots, marshmallow, crushed ants, cloves, menthol, mint, perfume. Cream, and grilled fruit, chocolate, sarsaparilla, caramel sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, rose petals, raspberries.

213 – The Chess “White King” Macallan Shinanoya 1995 20 Years *
Toffee apples, lemons and oranges, terry’s chocolate orange, mint, marzipan, uncooked pastry. So big, dusty caramels, loads of cream and vanilla, crushed ants, mint slice biscuits, creme brûlée, toasted wood, cream and strawberries, pavlova, white peaches, tarte tatin.

214 – Kintra Whisky Undisclosed Irish Distillery 14 Years Sherry Hogshead Cask 10834
Plastic, hazelnuts, pop corn, sherry fino, apple sauce. Pop corn, corn chips, sulphur, peanuts, really old apricots, chocolate, green chili, chocolate and prunes.

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Whisky 2017 – 193-197 – The Mash Tun, Tokyo

It is always a pleasure to visit The Mash Tun in Tokyo, owner Toru Suzuki is a true gentleman and wonderful ambassador for whisky. On this trip I arrived as they finished a Cadenhead tasting with General Manager, Mark Watt. Truly a special occasion to walk through the door on. I also met representatives from Shinanoya and Whisk-e. I was hanging out with the big dogs, accidentally.

193 – Benrinnes Bourbon Cask for the Mash Tun 13th Anniversary 17 Years “How can I live at the top of the mountain
Pancakes, vanilla, salted butter, sweet biscuits, cakes, stone fruit, galvanized fence. Apricots, vanilla, rubber, sulphur, salt, red apples, sponge cake, chestnuts.

194 – Cadenhead’s 175th Anniversary Caperdonich 39 Years
Rubber, shoe polish, chocolate, grilled nectarines. Toffee, raisins, butter, brown sugar, ice coffee, plum chutney, green figs, old butter. This thing is huge.

195 – Glenfarclas 32 Years Salon de Shimaji PenXShinanoya Cask 136 1981 bottled 2013
Buttered toast, chestnut purée, raisin, cloves, pickled onions (in a good way), coffee. Honey, butter, pain à raisin, salt, apricots.

196 – Ichiro’s malt “The Game” Madeira Hogshead Cask 1370, 10 Year Anniversary of Shinanoya *
Maple syrup, pancakes, loads of stone fruit, toasty, caramel, toffees, toffee apple, pineapple upside down cake. Rubber, raisins, sulphur, apricots, old butter, musk sticks, butter and maple syrup on crumpets.

197 – Benriach 1976 Sherry Cask/Bourbon Finish Cask 529, 37 years
Plastic, caramel, rose hips, green grass, columbines, salt, passion fruit vine. Butter herbs, butter, caramel, apricot jam, chocolate, stout, kiwi fruits, chocolate, LPG, beef fat, vanilla icecream, pineapple.

Whisky 2017 – 178-183 – Suntory Tasting

178 – Yamazaki 10
Apricots and cream, leather, sarsaparilla, kiwi fruit. Dry, ginger biscuits, fruit cup, grilled pineapple.

179 – Hokuto
Egg whites, plastic, peanuts, chocolate, toasted grains, chocolate mousse, peanut brittle. Leather, soap, tobacco, passionfruit vine, leather.

180 – Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 18 Years
Apples, lemonade, boot polish, grape jelly, yeast buns, kiwi fruit, orange blossom water, cream in water, instant coffee grounds. Green wood, tobacco, menthol, rubber.

181 – Yamazaki Distillery Limited 2015
Honey, sponge cake, strawberry jam, leather, apricot, rubber. Rubber, vanilla, slightly medicinal, massive vanilla finish, jammy, dry cinnamon, passion fruit vine, tobacco, rock melon.

182 – Berry Brothers 1990 26 year old Craigellachie by Whisk-e for Ginza Zenith
Candle wax, stone fruit, a galvanized fence on a hot day, cheap caramel lollies, hand cream. Old whisky, cream, old apples, wax, cloves, ice coffee, grape skins.

183 – Glengoyne Single Cask 1985 21 Years, Cask 629 *
Brown sugar, orange zest, apple crumble, old apples, wood polish, shaving cream, rubber, maple syrup, soy sauce, musk. Rubber, dark chocolate bullets, old apples, plain corn chips, dry cinnamon, old sun drenched rubber, golden syrup.

Whisky 2017 – 162-165

The whisky legend, Toru Suzuki of Tokyo’s The Mash Tun visited Melbourne! He brought some special drams with him. While I missed the tasting (as I was in Sydney) he “just happened” to be at The Elysian. 

4 very special drams. 

162 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #8259 59.9% (Kawasaki, Chichibu, Scotch) Sample 26.08.17
Menthol, stewed apricots, spearmint, passionfruit vine, apricot cake, maple syrup. Soy, butter, cream, short bread, leather, honey, chocolate mousse, raspberries.


163 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #8258 59.0% (Kawasaki, Chichibu, Scotch) Sample 26.08.17
Honey, fairy floss, lemonade, 7-up, toast with butter and honey, rock melon, pineapple, raspberries Butter, toast, honey, salt, hazelnuts cooked in butter, salty chocolates, shiso, raspberry lollies, green bananas.


164 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #7880 60.8% (Kawasaki, Hanyu) Sample 28.08.17
Leather, wood, soft salted butter, maple syrup on dry toast, carob, pipe tobacco, . Pouring melted butter into my mouth with plums, grapes, leather, salt, soy, smelling lavender on a hot day, orange zest, rose petals. Old whisky!!


165 – Cragganmore 27 for Club Qing and Mash Tun, Sherry Cask
Rock melon, leather, candle wax, old apples. Wax and fruity, white pepper, salt, lemon pith, coconut, passionfruit, cucumber.

Whisky 2017 – 150-151 – Helvetica, Perth

Two special drams to finish my time in Perth. Normally, I am not a fan of red wine casks but wow! 

151 – Ichiro’s Malt ChichibuXHanyu Gasai for Isetan
Dusty apricots, carob, butter and spice cake, ozone, galvanized fence, hand cream, slight lemon zest. Hot malt, tobacco, leather, cream, slightly salt, old whisky, apricot bars, bitter herbs, boiled sweets, ice coffee.

152 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu first fill red wine for Isetan*
Massive nose, intense candle wax, buttered toast, boiling butterscotch, chocolate mouse, vintage soap. Manuka honey on buttered crumpets, aspirin, well structured tannins, bitter chocolate, brandy cream on warmed fruit cake, dried pears and peaches, raw cashews, toasted coconut.

Whisky 2017 – 136-138

136 – 1972 Invergordon Cask #37 selected by Phil & Simon Thompson 43 Years
Raspberry leaf, boot polish, cream, glacé ginger, maple bacon. Cream, toasted grains, Pavlova, kiwi fruits, glacé ginger, sweet milky tea.

137 – 1973 Invergordon Cask #10 for Club Qing 42 Years *
Dry biscuits, cloves, cinnamon, ice cream, apple snow, raspberry lollies. Incredible whisky tea tannins, loads of cream, fresh cracked paper, cardamom icecream, liquorice, macadamias, prunes, sight white peach.

138 – 1988 Bunnahabhain 28 Years by The Whisky Agency and Drunken Master Bar, Sherry Hogshead Cask 475
Cadlewax, hazelnuts, old apples, liquorice, dust, fruitcake. Fennel, dust, salt, stewed fruits, chocolate bullets, raw peanuts.

Whisky 2017 – 82-84

Three outstanding drams last night. How do these become independent bottlings? Glenrothes really need to look at what IBs are doing with their casks – heavy and black sherry bombs!

The Glenrothes was bottled for 6 bars across Asia, including my local The Elysian Whisky Bar and my favourite Tokyo bar, The Mash Tun. It’s an incredibly heavy and complex dram – a huge congratulations to Kelvin and Yao and everyone else involved in this bottling. 

82 – Club Qing 1975 40 Years Speyside Sherry Fino Butt, Cask KT518
Wood glue, hazelnuts, vanilla essence, white pepper, cardamom meringue, pound cake, warm Coke. Golden syrup, loads of brown butter, stewed stone fruit, egg white, raspberry, raspberry leaf, milk chocolate mousse, tropical fruit, licorice. Wow!!


83 – Three Rivers Glen Garioch 1995 21 Years Whisky for Whisky Lovers Nagoya
Coconut rough, turps, cold butter, tropical fruit. Green grass, pepper, tropical fruits, peach Melba, salty butter, old pop corn (but not in a bad way).


84 – The Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1997 (for 6 bars including The Elysian and The Mash Tun)
Butter, rubber, musk, lpg, roast chicken gravy, leather, roasted shallot sweetness, grilled pineapple. Rose hip jam, musk lollies, tea tannins, old butter, cola, salt, coffee grounds, ice coffee, fried eggs, camomile tea. With water maple syrup, pancakes, breakfast fruits – watermelon and mint, brown sugar.