Whisky 2017 – 197-203 – The Society Bar, Tokyo

Great set of whiskies to finish my trip in Japan and hit 200. The staff at The Society Bar took good care of us. The Linkwood SMWS definitely one of the best this year.

198 – SMWS 3.268 (Bowmore) Lady beachcomber’s dram 1995 20 years
Yeasty, bread, sea salt, caramels, juicy stone fruit, sponge cake, liquorice, strawberry and apricot jam, cherries. Green leaves, chocolate, chilli, old lace, lavender, cakes, sea water, rocks in a fire, chocolate mousse, dashi.

199 – SMWS 96.9 (Glendronach) Icy – Chill 2007, 8 Years
Cream, peanut butter caramels, roses, peanut brittle, with water candied apples, grilled pineapples. Yoghurt, almonds, green vines, with water loads of cakey notes, vanilla, hints of rubber, clove and leather.

200 – SMWS 39.102 (Linkwood) Rum-soaked black cherries 23 years *
Crushed ants, woody, maraschino cherries. Such a gentle dram, buttery, cake, sweet fruit like glacé apricots, pencil shavings, honey, salt, butter, old butter and sherry. The finish is forever – apples, cloves, melted butter and crisps.

201 – Ichiro’s Malt Single Cask 706 2010, 4 Years – bottled for Modern Malt Whisky Market in Osaka
Weet-box with milk and honey, medicinal, caramel, lemon butter, pound cake, glacé orange peel. Grains, multigrain bread, salted butter, wicker chairs, burnt butter with walnuts.

202 – Blackadder Ichiro’s Malt Cask 2630 PX Cask June 2010 6 Years
Apples, chocolate cake, sarsaparilla, cloves, old butter, crushed ants, dried apricots. Cloves, cake mix, passionfruit vines, chocolate and herbs.

203 – Ichiro’s Malt The Peated 2015, Distilled 2011
Medicinal, malt, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake, metallic, stewed apricots. Charcoal, heather, leather, soot, fruit dipped in caramel, lantana, candles blown out on a birthday cake.

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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 – 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 – 142-148 Japanese tasting

Another great tasting at The Elysian. The Yoichi was the stand out for me. Obviously the Speyside wasn’t a part of the tasting but a birthday dram bought for me. 

142 – Mars Malt Le Papillon, 4yo, American White Oak #1558, 58%, 1 of 599 Bottles
Bananas, hazelnuts, kiwi fruit, pound cake, macerated cherries, fruit straps. Oat cakes, butter, salt, lemon zest, banana cake, green gras.

143 – White Oak Akashi 5yo Exclusive for Shinanoya, White Wine Finish #61091, 59%, 1 of 342 Bottles
Rubber, dried pears, soy sauce, slight butter, dusty, red apples. Rubber, peanut brittle, melted butter, toasted grains, salt, roasted onions, white pepper.

144 – Kirin Fuji Sanroku 2016 Limited Edition 18yo Blended Whisky Oloroso Cask Finish, 43%
Cooked apples, ice cream, spiced cloves, reef tanning oil, toasted almonds, butter, crushed ants. Dried peaches and apples, toasted almonds, butter.

145 – Yamazaki Limited Edition 2017, 43%
Pencil shavings, pound cake, muscat grapes, Earl grey tea, red apples. Fruit flan, raw hazelnuts, cream, sandalwood, pepper.

146 – Yoichi Distillery Limited Bottling “Woody & Vanillic”, 55%
Apple snow, leather, pencil shavings, vanilla, boot polish, porridge with maple syrup. Just incredible mouth feel, spice cake, honey, butter, bracken, dried banana, pencil shavings.

147 – Ichiro’s Malt The Peated 2016 Edition, 54.5%, 1 of 6350 Bottles
Banana, chlorine, brown bread, butter, apricot nectar, carob. Hay, grass, salt, ashes goats cheese, toasted peanuts, chocolate, carob.

148 – The Whisky Agency speyside 43 years, 1973
Candle wax, fake clove spice, stewed plums, egg pudding, dried pineapple, mint, cola. Butter, pencil shavings, wax, plums.

Whisky 2017 – 41-48 – The Auld Alliance, Singapore

OK – So I went to the Auld Alliance in Singapore. Wow! I understand why it is regarded as the world’s best whisky bar. Yes, it was expensive but completely worth it – my only problem was my mistake ordering the Benrinnes. It is a fabulous dram, don’t get me wrong but didn’t really sit well with the other drams – a slight misstep when you are overwhelmed with such an imposing list. 

The Card Series were impeccable. I know there is a brouhaha regarding Japanese whisky prices and is it worth it. For me I tried three stunning, unique and consistent drams that deserve significant praise. 

The staff presented me with a mystery dram at the end a 1977 Sherry cask bottling of something Speyside. For me this was Ben Nevis but who knows. 

41 – Springbank 15 Years Old Tall Bottle from the 80s
Apricots, hand cream, brown sugar, plump raisins. Stunning mouthfeel, wonderfully spiced, salty, slight warm malt cake, stewed apricots dolloped with cream, cake mix.

42 – Springbank 12 Years Old tall bottle from the 80s
Fruit on a cheese platter, coffee grounds, tropical cordial. Leather, cream, perfumed soap, salt, slight tropical fruit sweetness, woody spices on the finish, malty.


43 – Benrinnes Silver Seal 30 Years 1984 Cask 2268
Malty, stone fruit, banana leaf. Hot, cake, leather, salt, maraschino cherries, Sacher torte, malt loaf with butter.


44 – Glendronach 31 Years 1978 Olorosso Sherry Cask 1040
Gravox, maple syrup, rubber, chocolate mousse, sulphur. Heavy and unctuous just crazy mouth feel, berry jam taken within an inch of its life, angry caramel, match heads, boot polish, motor oil.


45 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 7 of Diamonds 1991 19 Years PX 2nd fill Cask 9031
Caramel, grappa, peanuts, stewed apple, vanilla, turps, sarsaparilla, German spice biscuits. Woody, perfume, bacon fat, smoked praprika, peanut brittle, gooseberries and stone fruit, milk chocolate.


46 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 10 of Clubs 1990 PX 2nd fill Cask 9032
Wonderful cocoa and musk nose, orange marmalade, crepes with butter and cream, boozy stewed stone fruit. Toffee apples, cream, orange blossoms, leather, cream, white pepper, slight meaty note, white peaches, salt.


l47 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series King of Hearts 1986 PX 2nd fill Cask 9033
Smoked paprika, grape skins, roast chicken, Coke spider, sarsaparilla, musk, dark chocolate. Maple syrup, roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cream on Xmas pudding, rockmelon, salty, rose hips, dry ginger.


48 – The Auld Alliance 1977 Sherry Cask (perhaps Ben Nevis)
Chocolate, dried apricots, salty butter, cake mix, yeast. Cake mix, apricots, leather, green peppercorns, cocoa, green herbs and salt, chocolate mousse, tobacco, spiced pumpkin.

Whisky 2o16 – 171-174

171 – Old Malt Cask 1997 Auchentoshan for The Mashtun
Malt, clover, lemon zest, cocoa, hand cream, slight gluey note. Sweet and milky like condensed milk, salty, milk chocolate, cream, cold butter, cloves

172 – Gordon & MacPhail Glenturret 2004 for Gilles Club Australia
Gravy, beef, maple syrup, leather and cigars. Sarsaparilla, butter, brown sugar, cloves, salt, heavy and friendly.

173 – Ichiro’s Malt ‘Malt Dream Cask’ 2008 Cask 200 Bourbon Barrel
Vanilla cake, strawberry jam, green grass, flat coke, cream. Pineapple, brown sugar, malt, salt, tropical fruits, cream, wonderful long finish, cloves, melted butter, fruit cake fried in butter.

174 – Bowmore Voyage Port Cask Bottle 0143
Toffee, properly good bacon, salt, garden peas with mint. Caramels, roses, salt, licorice, musk, salt, medicinal, tansy cakes.