Mars Komagatake Single Malt 2021 Edition

World Whisky Review #50: Mars Komagatake Single Malt 2021 Edition

Distillery: Mars Shinshu Distillery.

Region: Japan.

Age: NAS.

ABV: 48.00%.

Cask Type: Mainly bourbon and sherry casks, according to Japanese Whisky Dictionary.

Cost: $160.

Color: 1.1, Burnished. Non-Chill Filtered.


Nose: There are some almost musty, fortified wine and fruit notes here. Muscat grapes and a bit of musty sherry come through. There’s some more vegetal notes in aloe vera and mixed dried herbs along with a hint of shisho. It feels quite heavy and you get the “worm-tubby” heft and almost gassy notes as well.

Palate: Those hefty “worm-tubby” notes are there and gives this a really nice mouthfeel. There’s a bit of a mushroom-y funk here with a bit of the meatiness you get from a bit mushroom. Some of those herbal notes come through again. With a splash of water, the fruits do come out. Apricots are the main note with some aloe vera. Vanilla bean paste also comes out more and more as you let it sit in the glass.

Finish: Medium in length. That vanilla bean paste note from the palate continues on here and dominates the palate entirely.


Conclusion: I’ve previously tried a couple of whiskies from the Iwai line of blends from the Mars Shinshu distillery and was less than impressed. Seeing a single malt from them though and having heard good things, the temptation was too great. All in all, this is a nice whisky. You get some lovely fortified wine notes in the nose along with some of the more vegetal notes you can get from a worm tub distillate. The bit of mushroom notes in the palate are definitely different, but pleasant. The apricot and vanilla bean paste notes that come in towards the back keep it from getting too funky and earthy and provide a nice depth here. Overall, it is quite nice but like most Japanese whisky, not worth the price tag.

Final Score: 81.


World Whisky Review #50, Japanese Whisky Review #22, Whisky Network Review #520


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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