Kujira Ryukyu Whisky 8 Year

World Whiskey Review #44: Kujira Ryukyu Whisky 8 Year

Distillery: Shinzato Shuzo

Region: Okinawa, Japan

Age: 8 Year.

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $130

Mashbill: Indica rice and Okinawa black koji

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon and Ex-sherry casks

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany. Natural Color.


Nose: Oh no. Not off to a great start are we. Slightly metallic, slightly solvent-y, not a whole lot going on.

Palate: The main note here is of a nice and warm caramel. There’s something slightly earthy to this as well. It kinda tastes like a brown rice porridge. It goes down quite easily.

Finish: Medium in length. There is more of the warm, almost burnt caramel. There is a bit of a woody note, but it definitely isn’t oak. It’s a little more like pine than anything. A bit more of the rice porridge pops in as well. There is a slightly muted fruity note as well, banana puree is the only thing that really comes to mind.


Conclusion: To celebrate the chilliest Valentine’s Day of our lives (hello negative Fahrenheit temperatures!), the wife gifted me a little bit of Pacific sunshine. This single grain whisky comes from Okinawa and I hoped it would bring along a little bit of warmth with it. The nose didn’t get us off to a great start, there’s a metallic solvent note which just never seemed to get any better. It doesn’t taste of a whole lot, just a bit of caramel and rice porridge. The finish is perhaps the most interesting bit. There’s a bit of pine, warm caramel, rice and banana puree. On the whole, not bad, but the most interesting thing about this whisky is honestly the label (isn’t that whale painting awesome?). Would I buy a bottle? The price on this needs to be cut down significantly though. At a third of the current price, I’d consider it.

Final Score: 74.

World Whisky Review #44, Japanese Whisky Review #17, Whisky Network Review #380


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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