Yamazaki 18 Year

World Whisky Review #48: Yamazaki 18 Year

Distillery: Yamazaki.

Region: Japan.

Age: 18 Year.

ABV: 43.00%.

Cost: Pour thanks to /u/L_Tyrion.

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.

This particular review was done blind with the only hint being “Japan”.

Nose: This is definitely sherried as there’s a lot of sherry on the nose here. A bunch of wine notes, namely chardonnay. Muscat grapes and poached pears make an appearance along with some shelly senbei.

Palate: It’s a bit of a mini-sherry bomb. White wine notes come with it, a fairly dry chardonnay comes to mind with perhaps a bit of Riesling. With some water, green apples and bosc pear notes come out to add to the fruity medley.

Finish: Medium to short in length. The white wine notes come out again and give a bit of a drying element to this.

Guess: The hint was Japan. I’m thinking it’s a Yamazaki given that it isn’t peated and carries a lot of fruitier notes I’d associate with Yamazaki over the other major Japanese distilleries. There’s definitely sherry casks in this mix, perhaps even solely being sherry. I’m going to guess that it’s around 43% ABV and mid-teens in age. Yamazaki Sherry Cask is the final answer.

Reveal: Yamazaki 18 Year.

Conclusion: Doing this reveal was like déjà vu, a look back to my school days where I’d pick the right answer and then second guess myself into selecting the wrong one. My original guess was Yamazaki 18 Year and talked myself into changing it because of how strong the sherry notes came across for me making me think it must have been the more sherry focused Yamazaki release. In any case, this is a whisky right up my alley. The sherry notes that dominate the nose and palate are delicious. The additional fruit and white wine notes add a lot of depth to this of flavor to this making it a lovely treat overall. Would I buy a bottle? The sticker price scares me, but it is a very nice whisky.

Final Score: 86.

World Whisky Review #48, Japanese Whisky Review #20, Whisky Network Review #515

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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