Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky

World Whisky Review #7: Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky

Distillery: Ichiro

Region: Chichibu, Japan

ABV: 55%

Age: Blend

Price: $35 for tasting session, reviews for other whiskies can be found here

Color: 0.9, Amontillado Sherry

, NCF and Natural Color (which I have to say is stunning)

Nose: Lots of grain and malt with some cooked down (really cooked down) fruits and vanilla.

Palate: Starts off with a bit of an unpleasant slug of ethanol/solvent that quickly gives way to corn, grain, and bananas. There’s a bit of bitterness (perhaps coffee?) in here along with some fresh oak. With water, the banana completely takes over. It’s not very sweet still but you get the distinct flavor from a slightly aged banana. Combined with the earth notes from the grains, it reminds me a lot of an unsweet banana bread.

Finish: The finish is medium in length and is completely dominated by bananas. There are also some notes of ginger, pepper, and a bit of oak.

Conclusion: If you like earthy notes and bananas or just like banana bread, you might like this whisky. While it was definitely interesting to have a taste, there’s just something…off about this one in my mind. Perhaps if it was a bit sweeter (really playing up that banana bread feel) or if it had a bit of thicker mouthfeel/creaminess to it (this had a super light mouthfeel and was very light just overall), I think this would have done better. All in all, I’d say it’s worth trying once but I doubt I’ll be look to take a bottle home anytime soon.

Final Score: 76

World whisky review #7, Japanese whisky review #6, Whisky Network Review #31

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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