Suntory Yamazaki 10 Year Old (40%)

on Mar 10 in Japanese, Pictures, Single Malt Whisky by James

For me this is where it all started. The first Single Malt I plucked up the courage to invest £30 into. While on an incredibly muddy walk with my wife and Beagle puppy we started talking spirits. Discussing the “bog standard” classics, their flavours and what they reminded you of. We stopped off in Tesco (yeah the single malt retailer of choice!) and we both decided to each buy a bottle of something neither of us had tried.

Suntory Yamazaki 10 year old

Suntory Yamazaki 10 year ol

Wandering down the aisle I came to the vertical banner with the word whisky in white capitalised lettering. The first bottle to catch my eye was Monkey Shoulder. I love monkeys and the fact it had 3 gold monkeys stamped on the bottle made it even better. This is the one…oh wait it’s blended. None of the cool kids drink blended whiskys do they? Hell no, I need to get me a single malt, I need to impress alpha male stylee. After beating my chest I saw a box with some big Japanese lettering, black on white and the words “single malt”. Boom it’s game time baby.

I felt pretty hardcore at the checkout. Japanese single malt with a security tag on the bottle, yeah this is it “HEY EVERYONE, COME SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK”. Anyway I got home and unsheathed the bottle. It looked pretty awesome, thick glass, short and stumpy. The whisky itself a light golden colour. What do I do now, how do I drink this stuff? Remember how I don’t really have a clue about whiskys, well this was before that clue arrived. Grabbing a glass I poured myself a generous measure and took a swig.

Hmmmm tastes like whisky. I took another swig, yup this is whisky it has alcohol in it. This wasn’t going to plan, I am sure I am supposed to say something profound. Grabbing some ice cubes I tried again. It now tastes like an ice cube has melted in the whisky and slightly watered it down. Disaster.

I left the bottle on the side and grabbed myself a beer, sat on the couch and moaned to the dog about what had just transpired. A couple of hours (and beers) later I thought to myself what would Oz Clarke do? I grabbed another glass and closed my eyes breathing in some of the vapour. Concentrating hard I caught a faint
whiff of vanilla? Another sniff and it reminded me of A-level chemistry when making  that pear drop flavouring. (isoamyl acetate to be precise!).

I then took a swing and again the initial tastes of alcohol was present but as this faded followed by vanilla, oak and spice.. So it began, the whisky train arrived and I purchased a one way ticket!

TLDR – Too Long Didn’t Read version

Fast forward a couple of months to now. This is a good entry level malt (not sure what that means but hey). Quite sweet, smells of that artificial pear and banana flavouring you find in sweets. You do get a slight taste of alcohol but it soon fades and the fruity flavours are there in abundance. The finish is not particularly long, slightly dry and oaky with hints of spice.

Good starter whisky, it will help you understand the differences between this and a more complex / special single malt.

I would recommend a small amount of water or a couple of ice cubes to take the edge off the initial alcohol taste though.

70cl / 40%
Japanese Single Malt Whisky

“An introductory malt from Yamazaki, Japan’s oldest distillery (founded in 1923). This is mild-mannered, clean, sweet malt, charming and very accessible – Speyside fans looking to try a Japanese malt should start here.”

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