This one was selected by Marcin at One Drinks Company and it did extremely well at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007, with a Gold Medal and the Top Japanese Malt Award.
Coulour : amber.
Nose : truly powerful, starting on an immense, but truly enjoyable woodiness. Big varnishy notes, almonds and marzipan, green tea and hints of horseradish (or wasabi – Japanese indeed). Then it’s the wilderness that speaks out, with notes of humus, moss, pine needles, roots, wet dead leaves… And finally a big mint and a big eucalyptus. Oh, and our beloved dried mushrooms. It’s not really subtle whisky but the boldness and compactness are very, very enjoyable. With water : now it’s fully on dried mushrooms (boletus and these huge black Chinese ones) and Havana tobacoo. Hyper-concentrated.
Mouth (neat) : huge, fat, punchy, heavily concentrated. ‘Good’ oak infusion, walnut skin, curry, mustard and bread crust. Goes on with cough syrup and green bananas. It’s amazing that all this oakiness remains good – I mean, excellent.
With water : It’s the spices that really go out now. Pepper first, then cloves and cinnamon, the nutmeg… How big this is !
Finish : very long – more of the same. One of the most muscular whiskies I had these mounths, no doubt.
SGP:586 – 91 points
Source : WhiskyFun