Kirin 40th Anniversary Single Grain 46%

BAL_7976Nose: Gentle notes of bees wax, butterscotch, butter menthols, creamed corn, raisins, grapefruit.
Palate: Immediately spicy. Cloves, oregano, pepper, paprika, salt. Also creamed corn, stewed apples, maple syrup, cashews, ginger ale, butter menthols.
Finish: Fairly short considering the spiciness of the palate. Fades on creamed corn, stewed apples, cashews and butter menthols.
Last Word: A decent grain whisky when the mood strikes for something a little different. The short finish is disappointing after the punchy palate.

Rating: 80/100

5 thoughts on “Kirin 40th Anniversary Single Grain 46%

  1. Hi Brian, pretty impressive that you managed to get hold of this bottle. Too bad about the finish but you seem to have enjoyed nose and palate. Cheers, Pierre

    • Hi Pierre,
      I got it for what I think is a reasonable price for a limited edition Japanese Whisky so no harm done. I’ve never tried the 15YO so it would be interesting to see how it compares. I know you and Clint both rate that one well.

  2. Hi gentlemen, that would be a very interesting comparison. I’d like to see how the NAS stacks up to the 15yo. There may be very minimal differences in terms of taste and aromas regardless of the age factor. A NAS it may be but in your opinion Brian is it a young NAS – primarily presenting qualities of a young matured whisky, or a well matured NAS that retains all the typical characteristics? Hard to tell I guess.

    I personally love the 15yo SG distillery bottling. I’m all out of my second bottle so will need to grab a few more not before long. It is a shame that you need to make a trip to get it.

    • I would say Clint that it reminds me of a younger NAS though not an immature one if that make sense. That is not to say that it is of course. I do not know the make up of the bottling. Young Hanyu and Yoichi or even Chichibu can show a maturity beyond their relatively limited time in the barrel where some older whiskies can be harsh or for want of a better word green. I would also expect an 8YO Mars bottling to be very well resolved. Actually, I have always been fond of their 8YO Pure Malt.
      Hopefully Zoetrope Bar has a bottle of the 15YO open for when I’m back in Japan in May 2015.

  3. During a trip to the distillery year(s) ago, they had the 15 year old single grain (distillery only, 5000 yen) sitting next to this (distillery only at the time, then available on the web shop later… 10,000 yen). The lady who had given me a tour the previous day stopped by to say ‘hi’ as I was debating which to buy, and told me straight up… buy the 15 year old, it’s cheaper and better. I still regret not picking this up (for comparison, and for the memory), but the 15 year old has been a big favorite of mine, and also of anyone who stops by for a dram.

    I’m curious if their yearly Blender’s Choice single grain (well, it was yearly… I don’t see a reference to the vintage anymore on the web site) is roughly equivalent to this. I certainly prefer the Blender’s Choice version to the Nikka Coffee Grain & Suntory Chita NAS.

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