Suntory Yamazaki Sherry Cask (48%)

on Mar 12 in Japanese, Pictures by James

What Suntory Yamazaki says

The sherry cask that has matured your Yamazaki Sherry cask was made from Spanish oak. We go directly to northern Spain where we scour the forests in search of just the right oak trees. Once local coopers finish making the casks to Suntory’s exact specifications, they become seasoned over a span of three years as the oloroso sherry within ages in Jerez, Spain. The tannins and other polyphenols contained in the Spanish oak casks leach into the whisky, imbuing it with a darker reddish hue than North American white oak casks could ever provide.

The Yamazaki Sherry CaskThat last point about the dark red hue, is a visual indication as to what’s in store with this whisky both in smell and taste. Like the Glenfiddich 21 Rum finish this single malt from Japan is best described as an event. I am a sucker for the aesthetics of a product, The simple but very dark reddy brown box contains a stumpy bottle. Eggshell white labeling with black lettering. There is a quality textured booklet outlining the carefully crafted process. The lettering “Sherry Cask” picked out in the same rich dark colour as the whisky itself. Some might think it comes across as slightly arrogant but I like to think of the guys who put this all together as being masters of their arts. They pretty much can say what they want as at the end of the day they know their product is not good, but is pretty much flawless.

What does The Yamazaki Sherry Cask whisky smell like?

Raisins, Butter, chocolate and dried sticky fruits. It smells like as Dan so eloquently put it “Christmas cake in a bottle”. I can’t stop smelling it, I want to share this smell with everyone, it’s incredible.

What does The Yamazaki Sherry Cask whisky taste like?

It is a great battle of sweet vs sour, quite hard to describe but most importantly delicious. There is a distinct raisin / sticky dark fruit hit followed by an ever so bitter hit of oak and freshly lit pipe smoke. The finish is a light year long, tongue tingling with those lingering sweet and sour waves.

Conclusion

This whisky is special. It’s a whisky I could drink forever but I feel scared that I may somehow become numb or accustomed to the experience this delivers. All the indvidual elements of colour, smell, and taste are stars on their own, but what Yamazaki has manged to do is create a super-nova and bottle it.

At £70 it is a great addition to your collection. Get this bottle out and pour a glass every so often to remind yourself of why you started drinking whisky and continue to do so.

Exquisitely crafted.

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