Suntory Gold Sherry Cask Blended Malt 42%abv

 Nose: Not great. A little sherry and oak. Label says it was fully matured in Sherry casks. Doesn’t taste like it. Also, plasticine, glue and cheap brandy.
Palate: A little better than the nose with bread dough, some lime and tangerine. Then ruined again by the plasticine and glue.
Finish: Bitter, with plasticine and, thankfully, short.
Last Word: According to The Whisky Exchange, this was bottled in the 70s. Not Suntory’s finest hour.
Rating: 60/100
*This one may be a single malt as it was matured at Yamazaki and back in the day it was not unusual for Yamazaki/Hakushu single malts to be labeled as pure/blended malts.

 

Suntory Kioke Shiome Pure Malt 1981 43%abv

suntory-kioke-shiome-1981-750ml-435Nose: Quite woody and a little musty. Hints of molding oranges, lemon, tinned pears.
Palate Honey, lemon, solvent, soap flakes, pepper, a little sherry, woody and again the molding oranges.
Finish: Pretty much as per the palate with some late coal. Not much to it really.
Last Word: Not to my liking tasted neat. Made a fair mixer.
Rating: 75/100
* An alternate review from Whiskies R US

Suntory “Zen” pure malt. 40%abv

suntory-zen-pure-malt-40-per-cent-alcohol

Nose: Gentle and and fairly closed. Notes of pear, oregano, varnish or paint thinner, eucalyptus, pepper and salt. Okay it doesn’t sound closed but it’s a few days between whiskies and I’m picking up more than I would normally with this one. Palate: Smooth and soft, mainly malt and cream. Some nutmeg spice and a little pepper. Finish: Short, simple, a bit dry or dusty. Then, a mineral-like quality and bamboo shoots.
Last Word: This is a uncomplicated malt, easy to drink, nice enough, but lacks complexity.
Rating: 70/100

Suntory Pure Malt Whisky, aged 7 years Black label 43%abv

suntory-pure-malt-7yo-yamazaki-500ml-43

Nose: Smooth, quite heavy sherry. Oak, raisins, stone fruit (plums?), toffee, wood stain. What seems like a touch of peat or smoke.
Palate: Ripe stone fruit, Christmas cake, milk chocolate, raisins, wood stain and again that hint of smoke/burnt twigs/matches…. or something like that. Well balanced.
Finish: Spicy, raisins, plums, chocolate, mint. Warming on the chest and of medium length. A little dry.

Rating: 85/100

Suntory Pure Malt “Hokuto”. Aged 12 years. 40%abv

suntory-pure-malt-hokuto-aged-12-years-40

Nose: A dreamy mix of gentle oak, vanilla, cream, tropical fruits such as banana, papaya (paw paw) and guava.
Palate: Smooth and creamy mouth feel and basically follows the nose, with some white pepper spice thrown in.
Finish: Warming and of medium length. Spicy, oaky and herbaceous.
Last Word: I have loved this whisky from the moment I opened the bottle.This was great value at about 20 euros in Japan. Such a shame it was discontinued
Rating: 88/100

Suntory Southern Alps Pure Malt. 40%abv

suntoryhakushu-southern-alps-pure-malt-40

Nose: Clean and fresh. Banana, vanilla, malt, light oak, blueberry and custard apple.
Palate: Ultra clean mouth feel. The flavours from the nose with some nutmeg and white pepper spice. A hint of bubbegum.
Finish: Is short and clean with some creaminess. The nutmeg and white pepper clings to the top palate. Finally, there is burst of Granny Smith apples.
Last Word: Lovely stuff, well balanced and very moreish.
Rating: 87/100