Whisky 2018 – 85-87

85 – Burnside (Balvenie) Silent Third Kyoto by Whisky Find Cask 5749 Sherry Hogshead
Nose – rock melon, wax, cake mix, hot chocolate, dried banana
Palate – coconut, dried apricots, chocolate, salty cream
Finish – coconut cream, apricots, bounty bars, burnt butter

86 – Glenrothes 20 Years old by Drunken Master Bar 1997 Cask 7162
Nose – brown sugar, soy sauce, maple syrup, cold salted butter
Palate – cocoa, leather, vanilla, musk, woody, tomato paste, chicos, dark chocolate
Finish – woody, salty, butter, ice coffee

87 – Okayama Takashimaya Buyers Select “Sherry cask debut” 58%
Nose – meringue, caramel, burnt marshmallow, honeycomb, dark toffee, liquorice
Palate – honey ice cream, chocolate, Xmas spices,
Finish – melon, chocolate, cream

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Whisky 2018 – 51-54

51 – Old Particular Glenrothes 2006, 11 Years “Yagyu Challenge” for Whisky Find and Shinanoya
Nose – raspberries, raspberries sticks, woody, leathery, burnt caramel, pine resin
Palate – liquorice, wood, wax, melted butter, salt, milk chocolate
Finish – woody, sherry, salt, rubber

52 – The Single Cask Linkwood 1984, 26 Years Cask 4238
Nose – bananas, yeast, menthol, pine, glacé fruit, rock melons
Palate – medicinal, gentle, grains, old whisky, tobacco, honey
Finish – tobacco, old whisky, old apples

53 – Ichiro’s Malt and Grain “World Blend Whisky”
Nose – apricot, spices, marscapone, chicos, crushed ants, pineapple
Palate – apricots, peaches, cream,
Finish – old apples

54 – Glenrothes 19 Years, 1997 for Eiling Lim 50.2%
Nose – blackberry jam, caramel, purple plums, musk, vanilla, honey comb
Palate – sucking cream through a sherry cask, butter, shaving cream, black currants, blackberry, grilled lettuce, peanuts
Finish – tannic, rubber, butter

Whisky 2018 – 44-48

Some incredible drams at the Elysian with Hideo Yamaoka and Toru Suzuki. These were all top level drams but the “Water of Life” Speyside is in my top all time 5, just mind blowing.

44 – Burnside Speyside Blend by The Whisky Find for The Mash Tun Tokyo and Little Happiness Hiroshima 1990, 27 Years Cask 4393
Nose – dusty, apricots, chocolate, liquorice
Palate – wax, apricots, maple syrup, pencil shaving, chocolate, cough drops, caramel, gun powder
Finish – salty, woody, red wine tannins

45 – Chichibu Galaxy Express 999, 2010 bottled 2017 selected by Hideo Yamaoka
Nose – hazelnuts, marzipan, chocolate, menthol, juicy stone fruit, formic acid,
Palate – scones with apricots and cream, almond kernels, bright and spicy,
Finish – perfume, cream

46 – Akashi in Cognac and Chardonnay Cask #61191 Distilled 2011 6 Years selected by Hideo Yamaoka
Nose – honey, maple syrup, butter, yeast, toast with butter
Palate – honey, butter, chili peppers, maple syrup, old tinned pineapple, soy sauce
Finish – cream, honey, salt

47 – Douglas Laing’s Old Particular Longmorn for Mashtun, Elysian, Drunken Master, Etc 1994, 22 Years
Nose – apricots, galvanized fence, Cottee’s caramel
Palate – caramel, salt, nori, stone fruit, minerals, short bread
Finish – caramel, eggy pudding

48 – Speyside (Glenfarclas) Malt 1973, 43 Years “Water of Life” Cask #8 selected by Carsten Ehrlich and Hideo Yamaoka *
Nose – hamburgers, mayonnaise, cream, candle wax, tomatoes, caramel, chocolate nibs
Palate – passiona, cream, juicy, cream, cream, cream, tropical fruits, wax, hazelnuts, toast with butter and brown sugar
Finish – cream, hairspray (in a good way), tropical fruits, cream, cream

Whisky 2018 – 29-34 – rare Japanese whisky tasting

29 – Ichiro’s Malt Blended Whisky “Houou-uhi” for Isetan (includes Kawasaki, Hanyu)
Nose: leather, apricots, vanilla, dust, soap, grilled pineapple, crushed ants, salty crisps
Palate: dust, cream, coffee, loads of fruit, old whisky, old apples, tobacco
Finish: cream and lace

30 – Hanyu Distillery Tokyo International Bar Show 1990 Vintage 23 year old
Nose: lollies, orange fizz wizz, meringue, soy sauce, black rock sugar, lemoncillo, toast with apricot jam
Palate: leaves, medicinal, cream, apricots and butter, old perfume
Finish: tea tannins, wood glue, green grass, cream

31 – Hanyu Distillery Whisky Live 10th Anniversary Bottling 18 years Single Cask Mizunara Cask #369
Nose: strawberry jam, chocolate, woody, stewed stone fruit, sour cream, maple syrup
Palate: soapy, woody, peanuts, fried potatoes, tropical fruit, bounty bars, maple syrup
Finish: leaves, cream, salt

32 – Karuizawa Asama Vintages 1999-2000 (77 casks mainly Sherry)
Nose: woody, maple syrup, perfume like, instant coffee, rubber, wax
Palate: rubber, peanuts, funky, beef tallow, salt, umami, stock cubes, wax, honey
Finish: pears, salty crisps, white pepper

33 – Karuizawa 8 year old Malt Whisky Mercian bottling
Nose: leather, wax, german Xmas biscuits, new make, toffee apple
Palate: wax, soy sauce, pencil shavings, gentle sugars
Finish: soy, cream

34 – Karuizawa 15 year old Malt Whisky Mercian bottling
Nose: cream, stone fruit, wax, some maple syrup
Palate: apples, leather, cream, sea weed,
Finish: medicinal, cream, old apples

Whisky 2017 – Top 5

My top 5 (in no particular order) for 2017. An interesting list!

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.

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.

196 – Ichiro’s malt “The Game” Madeira Hogshead Cask 1370, 10 Year Anniversary *
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.

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.

216 – Signatory Glenlivet for The Whisky Exchange 2007 10 Years Cask 900174 *
Woody, sarsaparilla, cloves, burnt strawberry jam, shaving cream, chocolate, whipped cream. Woody, massive sherry notes, red apples, cream, coffee, dried stone fruit, caramel pop corn, cold butter, watermelon, toasted brioche.

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.

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.