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.

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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 – 130-135 – Balvenie Tasting

Huge tasting on at the Elysian. Alex Moores from Dark Valley brought back some very good hand drawn single cask bottles from Balvenie. Alex and I shared a few other drams afterwards. 

130 – Balvenie 13yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #2022, 61.7%
Ice cream on warm pine apple pudding, red apple skin, choc-banana muffins. Super huge raspberry, choc-banana muffins, loads of vanilla cream, gooseberry, leather, dried apple.

131 – Balvenie 14yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #13330, 53.2%
Fruit tingles, lemon and coconut cake, vanilla cream, strawberry jam. Great mouth feel, short bread, toasted coconut, strawberries, loads of cream, wood shavings, green herbs.

132 – Balvenie 14yo ex-sherry butt matured, cask #2378, 62.7%
Roasted corn cobs, treacle, crushed cloves, roasted almonds, peanut brittle, marshmallow, Earl grey tea cream. Woody, beef jus, rubber, peanut brittle, caramel taken too far, hazelnuts, Musk sticks, mushroom pate, tea tannins.


133 – The Whisky Find and The Mash Tun Craigellachie 1990 Cask 5401
Candle wax, soft gooey French cheese, dried apple, rock melon skin, caramel, fruit sherbet bombs, lemon butter. Bees wax, coconut, rock melon, coffee, strawberries, flowers, nasturtiums, caramels, salt.


134 – The Whisky Agency 2003 13 Years JD for Bistro Inn, The Elysian Whisky Bar and Drunken Master Bar
Butter soaked toast, crushed ants, tomatoes, rhubarb and whipped cream. Butter, cultured butter, cream, formic acid, cinnamon toast, dusty, raw almonds.


135 – The Arran 21st Anniversary Edition – Ex-Olorosso Cask
Cream, metallic apricots, toffee, chocolate, pouch tobacco, peanut brittle, hazelnut paste. Tobacco, apricots, green grass, cream, tinned pineapple, hazelnut butter.

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.

Whisky 2016 – 117-120 The Mash Tun, Tokyo

Back in Tokyo. As I said to Suzuki-san (owner of The Mash Tun) all I’ve done in Japan is drink these excellent Scottish stuff I haven’t touch Japanese whisky while I’ve been here. 

117 – Springbank 21 Single Cask Japan Only
Boiled sweets, Xmas fruit, kiwi fruit. Honey, green herbs, medicinal, salty, rubber, cigars, bitter chocolate, angry jam.

118 – Springbank 20 TIBS 2016
Hazelnuts, gas, chocolate, candle wax, roses, marzipan. Rubber, salt, bitter herbs, coriander seed.

119 – The Arran – The Mash Tun 12th Anniversary Bottling
Bananas, marmalade, loads of fruit, marzipan and beautiful sweetness. Apricot jam, cream, pepper, cream, chicos, coffee, rum baba, egg whites and clove. (Suzuki had these for sale – I bought one)

120 – The Arran The Devil’s Punch Bowl III
Soy sauce, leather, eggs, dried pineapple, chicos. Stewed apple, blue vein cheese, apricot jam, bitter green herbs, salt, pineapple, lettuce, tomato sauce, Caesar salad.

Whisky 2016 – 100-101 

Back in Tokyo! At the wonderful Mash Tun. Owner Suzuki-san is a wonderful host and has some very unique bottlings. I will be going back! 

100 – The Mash Tun and The Whisky Agency Ben Nevis 1998 Peated
Walnuts, ham, huge truffle nose. Meaty and sweet, typical Ben Nevis jammy apricot fruit but wow, such savory complexity. Simple but so well executed.

101 – The Whisky Agency Ben Nevis 1996 20 year Sherry butt
Honey, gunpowder, mushrooms, jersey caramel. Caramel, green herbs and apricots, churned butter, some slight earthiness.