Ichiro’s Malt Bartender’s Choice Special Blended Whisky 2015 59.8%abv

BAL_3885.jpgNose: Surely some sherry cask matured whisky in the mix? Cherry cream chocolate, Raisins, pink grapefruit, papaya, sawdust, pear wine gums, California Zinfandel.
Palate: Nutmeg, apple pie, pink grapefruit, cloves, salt and pepper, paprika, California Zinfandel, creaming soda, cherry, orange jus.
Finish: Paprika, fermented pears, California Zinfandel, lemon cough drops and finishes with some ashy dryness.
Last Word: Typical Japanese ‘Clayton’s’ blended whisky. The blend you have when your not wanting a blend. The person I bought this from kindly approached the bottler and could not get any concrete info on what the make up of this bottling is. The whiff of sherry and the cherry has me thinking there is some Kawasaki single sherry grain whisky in the blend. Overall a very nice whisky with good complexity.

Rating: 86/100

Ichiro’s Malt and Grain 20YO 46%

ichiros-malt-and-grain-20yo-46Nose: Straight off the bat I pick up the Kawasaki influence, so sherry cask single grain. Cream of wheat, creamed corn, toffee, pipe tobacco, leather, fresh cut timber, hessian, mint and white pepper. Rich and succulent.
Palate: More of the Kawasaki sherry cask single grain. Chinese 5 spice, marzipan, nougat, pine, pipe tobacco, leather, rhubarb, roasted chestnuts and honey on crumpets.
Finish: Follows the palate with the pipe tobacco and leather prominent.
Last Word: This is a blend of Hanyu malt and Kawasaki single grain whiskies. There have been a number of these with 20YO age statements and different labels and I am not sure if they are the same bottling or not. Well crafted, high end blending.

Rating: 89/90

Ichiro’s Malt and Grain Premium 50% abv


Nose: Sherry but not heavy. Rhubarb, vanilla, sweet tobacco, strawberry compote, oak, yeast, mint, pepper,
Palate: Glazed cherries, toffee, cinnamon, wholemeat dough, sweet glazes oranges, rhubarb.
Finish: Glazed cherry, rhubarb, toffee, oak. The flavours tend to clash more than gel. Last Word: Reminds me somewhat of Ichiro’s Malt for the Taster which has a similar issue. Not bad by any means, just something not quite right for my palate.
Rating: 81/100

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain. 46%abv


Nose: Peach fuzz, vanilla, lychen, barley, cauliflower and white sauce, lemon, woodstain, straw, banana.
Palate: Light and crisp, lemon squash, chestnuts, straw, barley, vanilla, banana and a little chilli. With water, it has toffee, tobacco and pineapple.
Finish: Shortish, smooth and easy going. Bittersweet. On toffee, lemon, tobacco, bran, banana and a hint of nutmeg.
Last Word: Has evolved positively with time.
Rating: 83/100