Kirin Fuji-Sanroku 18YO Blended Whisky Small Batch 43%

P1050271Nose: Toffee, brown sugar, orange slices, wood chips, rye spice, pineapple, passion fruit, apricot jam.
Palate: Orange reminiscent of a bourbon such as Woodford Reserve. Rye spice, nutmeg, cloves, apricot jam, pineapple, wood shavings, passion fruit. Water adds some sherbet filled lemon candy.
Finish: Very well controlled wood for the age. Rye spice, smooth bourbon, passion fruit, pineapple and apricot jam.
Last Word: Very much in the Kirin house style. A bourbonesque style of whisky which makes sense as I have been told by more than one source in Japan that the Master Blender at Kirin has a penchant for American Whiskey. For myself this is smooth, well balanced, interesting and tasty. As per usual these day’s, very hard to find even in Japan.

Rating: 88/100

Kirin Pure Malt 18YO Oloroso Sherry Casks 1975-78-1997 46%abv

kirin-seagrams-pure-malt-18yo-1975-78-1997-bottle-269-of-360-46Nose: Maple Syrup, mild chicken korma, BBQ grilled pineapple, vanilla, honey, buttered crumpets, licorice, damp earth, butterscotch, walnuts, Pineapple Lumps, Granny Smith apples, mango, light tobacco. Plush!
Palate: Sharp blue cheese, pomegranate’s, mixed peel, papaya, hot spices, tobacco, burnt banana, oak, big saltiness. Water smooth’s things out, the maple syrup and honey make a return and some burnt lemon meringue is added. Big stuff at ‘only’ 46%.
Finish: Some coal, dried fruits, papaya, burnt lemon meringue pie, BBQ grilled banana, oak, butter, salt and pineapple.
Last Word: The nose is exquisite. Palate is fiery and needs water. A powerful and interesting whisky.

Rating: 89/100


Kirin-Seagram Orchid 43%abv


Nose: Some Colgate mintiness. Chargrilled peppers, walnut, marmalade, freshly cut grass, putty, salt, citronella. Yeh, it’s a bit odd.
Palate: Softish delivery. Now the sherry influence starts to come through. Cherries, sultanas (ok, there’s the sherry bit), bananas, putty, brazil nut, black pepper.
Finish: Shortish and dry with putty, walnuts, sultanas and bananas.
Final Word: This appears to be some sort of whisky liqueur. The ingredients say “malt, grain, sherry,” which indicates that this is not just a sherry butt matured whisky but that sherry itself was added. Odd. Perfectly fine to drink, but nothing special.
Rating: 75/100

Dunbar Pure Malt (Kirin-Seagram). 42%abv


Nose: Plasticine, cardboard, glue, oak, orange, candle wax, licorice… urinal cakes.
Palate: Quite bitter, with Plasticine, peanut shells, liquorice, oak. I hesitate to say urinal cakes again, as this might imply I’ve tried them, but this, I imagine, is what they might taste like.
Finish: Short and bitter with Plasticine, glue, orange and liquorice. The orange and licorice does not redeem this. Overall, the flavours don’t integrate well at all.
Last Word: This doesn’t taste or smell much like whisky, though the orange and liquorice may indicate some sort of Bourbon barrel influence. From nose to finish this is rather unpleasant. A complete misfire from Kirin.
Rating: 60/100

Kirin Emblem. 43%abv


Nose: Bran, wheat, oats. Lemon and lime. New oak and potato skins.
Palate: Toffee and grain. Golden syrup on pancakes with a light squeeze of lemon.
Finish: Medium on golden syrup, oak, a little poppy seed and cinnamon.
Last Word: Solid blend in the Scottish style. Kirin blends have often used Scottish whisky in the mix.
Ratings: 78/100

Kirin 50% Blend


Nose: Butterscotch, blanched pears, vanilla, creamed corn, oak, mixed herbs, shellfish.
Palate: Creamed corn, green apple skin, butterscotch, rye, red grapes, a tad soapy.

Finish: Short, green apple skins, red grapes, rye, butterscotch. Better than expected, the soapy element and short finish lets it down.

FInal Word: About $12 a bottle in Japan
Rating: 78/100

Kirin Crescent Blend 43%abv


Nose: Crisp and light. Pineapple, light oak, tinned peaches, creamed corn, toffee, mashed banana.
Palate: Pineapple, ginger bread, walnuts, red grapes, rye, strawberry, a little white pepper.

Finish: Short on the flavours of the palate and some white grapes.

Last Word: No heavy hitter but none the less a well crafted blend that can be picked up for peanuts in Japan.
Rating: 80/100

Kirin Evermore 2002 21YO 40% abv


Nose: Deep and rich. Heavy Pineapple, passionfruit, papaya, a sherry like quality, brazil nuts, walnuts, rye, pipe tobacco, white pepper.
Palate: Nicely tangy(fruit tingles), pineapple, walnut, passionfruit skins, pipe tobacco, cloves, kiwi fruit, papaya, hint of sweet yoghurt.

Finish: Short medium with nothing added from the palate. This is a premium blend only let down by the shortish finish and low abv.

Last Word: Would be a killer at 48%abv.
Rating: 87/100

Kirin Evermore 2001 21YO 40%abv


Nose: Very similar to the 2002 but a little less rich. So, pineapple, walnuts, mashed banana, vanilla, teak, pipe tobacco, rye, sugared lemon and a touch of lavender.
Palate: Pineapple, passionfruit, lavender, walnuts, rye, vanilla, pine-lime splice(an Australian ice-cream).

Finish: Again shortish on pine-lime splice(pine-lime ice over a vanilla centre, though the lime is sweet).

Final Word: A very solid blend.
Rating: 85/100.