Fukano Whisky Sherry Cask

World Whisky Review #37: Fukano Whisky Sherry Cask

Distillery: Fukano

Region: Japan

Age: NAS.

Cask Type: ex-Oloroso

Mashbill: 100% Rice

ABV: 42.2%? (The normal Fukano Whisky Sherry Cask is 43.0%, the sample I had was labeled at 42.2% which may or may not be correct. I found a few references to a 42.2% ABV Fukano Sherry Single Cask via Google but it’s hard to tell if those are right or not.)

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.

Nose: (according to the wife) It smells familiar! It smells like rice wine (makgeolli/막걸리, also similar to nigori sake) in all of its sweet rice with some slightly tangy notes. There’s a bit of a fruity element as well from the sherry in the form of stewed pears, some plums, and molasses.

Palate: This whisky is very creamy from the forefront in the form of a bit of creamy sherry. It quickly turns into tasting of rice wine again. The slightly milky, slightly chalky notes of sweet rice wine dominate for the most part. Some hints of stewed fruit pop in here and there as well.

Finish: Short. More notes of that slightly chalky sweet rice.

Conclusion: There’s a little bit of debate on if Fukano whisky is actually whisky or just simply barrel aged shochu. Whichever side of that debate you sit on, the fact of the matter is that this is pretty darn tasty. It’s a very well made makgeolli/nigori sake meeting sherry. The mixture of the two really gives you the best of both worlds. You get the nice sweet and slightly tangy notes from the rice wine. It’s complemented nicely by the creamy and fruity notes of sherry by giving it some depth in flavor. If you’re a fan of rice wines and sherried whisky, I’d say you should probably give this a try sometime.

Final Score: 80.

World Whisky Review #37, Japanese Whisky Review #16, Whisky Network Review #328

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 (if feasible).
  • 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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