700ml / 46% ABV / Non Chill-Filtered
A vatting of whisky from both the Hanyu (now closed) and Chichibu distilleries.
Ichiro Akuto, the founder of Chichibu Distillery (est. 2004), is also the grandson of the founder of Hanyu distillery (shut down in 2000 and dismantled in 2004). Ichiro rescued around 400 casks before the closure. This "Double Distilleries" release is a vatting of two whiskies: Sherry matured Hanyu and Chichibu matured in a Japanese oak cask. A rare treat.
Tasting Notes (www.whiskyanalysis.com)
Nose: I can definitely smell the sherry cask influence – despite the light colour, I get rich chocolate notes. Apple and pear are the main fruits, not really getting the typical sherry figs or raisins. There is also a lot of honey sweetness here, similar to the Mizunara Wood Reserve (MWR). A bit of allspice comes in as well, like in a nice rye blend (not over-powering). And the perfumy/incense wood notes from the MWR are also present throughout. Nice.
Palate: Definite spicy kick up front, just like the MWR. The sweet fruity notes come in next, along with the honey and chocolate. Not as much sherry influence as I was expecting from the nose – getting more general oakiness now. Taste of Graham crackers. A bit malty. Also some bitterness, but greatly attenuated compared to the MWR (which was overwhelming). The baking spices – allspice, nutmeg – linger nicely. Nice mouth feel, not too watery.
Finish: The sweet honey and Graham cracker notes are the most prominent. That MWR bitterness is present, but greatly subdued. The baking spices really help here, and linger for a nice long while. I even get a touch of apple at times. Not overly complex, but pleasant and fairly long-lasting.
Chichibu Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries Japanese Whisky (700ml / 46%)
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