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 2016 – 41-42

41 – Karuizawa Asama (bottled 2013 – 1999 & 2000 vintages)
Wood, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter and pancakes. Brown bread, creamy, woody, dried porcini, liquorice all sorts, hot cloves, all spice, lemon pith.

42 – Mars Komagatake Wine Cask Finish 10 Years
Boozy banana bread, yeasty dough, butter cream icing, plastic. Very light on the palate, maraschino cherries, cough medicine, rose cream, autumn leaves.

Whisky 2016 – 37-40 (Bar White Oak)

Opening of Bar White Oak at Whisky and Alement. Rare Japanese whisky incoming for the next couple of months probably until I go to Japan.

37 – Ichiro’s Malt Bartender’s Choice 2015
Yeast, banana bread, grainy, honeydew melon, stone fruit, chocolate mousse. Banana leaf, bitter leaves, salt, brown bread and cold salted butter, orange pith.

38 – Ocean (Karuizawa) Hanshin Tigers (early 2000s)
Cream, wood varnish, salt and white pepper, plump raisins. Figs, prunes, slight salty and bitter notes, very elegant (for a baseball team!), peanuts, ice coffee with whipped cream.

39 – Ichiro’s Malt and EPower Chichubu Casks #1490 and #1683
Honey, toasted grains, pollen, green bananas, pizza dough, toasted banana sandwich. Vanilla cream, cloves, grain bread, bananas.

40 – Mars Komagatake 1988 Cask 555 White American Oak
Wood glue, boot polish, maple syrup, vanilla bean, geranium. Slightly medicinal, maple, wood, Manuka honey, salty, herbaceous, butter, apricot brandy.


Whisky 2015 – 117-122 (The Mash Tun, Meguro, Tokyo)

I had two great nights at The Mash Tun in Meguro, Tokyo. It’s a short walk from Meguro station and by Tokyo standards easy to find.

The Mash Tun has the largest collection of Cadenhead bottlings I’ve seen, maybe close to 40. While many of the locals (in fact now that I think about it all of them) were tucking into Cadenhead, I was there for the Japanese stuff you just can not get in Australia.

117 – Ichiro’s Malt – Whisky Talk 2015
Typical Japanese creaminess, cocoa, autumn leaves, salt, slight gassy note, angry dust. Tastes like it smells. Which is unusual. The peat is really subtle. I can taste this in my throat.

118 – Blackadder and Ichiro’s malt 5 year
Chestnut honey, flour, floral, ginger, egg white, clove and cola. Honey and cola. Really delicious. The sweetness is complex like brown/black sugar.

119 – Karuizawa TIBS 2012
Rubber, apricots, chocolate, maple syrup. Rubber, vanilla, pepper, sulfur, clove, salt, maple syrup.

120 – Fuji Gotemba Single Grain Blender’s Choice 2014 029/500
Bananas, coconut, formic acid, some acetone, apricots with ice cream. Butter, crushed ants, vanilla, tropical fruits, toasted hazelnuts.

121 – Ichiro’s malt 2015 Tokyo International Bar Show Cask 2360
Wow just wow – favourite for the year!! Banana, ice cream, malty bread with butter, tomato paste, fruit tingles, slight vino cotto, CHICOS. Yeast, brown bread, vanilla, banana bread, prunes, plums, grapes.

122 – Hanyu King and 6 of Spades Cask 123 (Grappa Cask)
Slight woody pine notes, vanilla, roses, dried strawberries, chocolate and a bit medicinal. Peppery and spicy, instant coffee, a touch of vanilla, strawberries in a day old chocolate cake, length that lasts forever.