Kirin Fuji Gotemba Blenders Choice Single Grain Whisky 2015 46%

IMG_3959Nose: Light and smooth. Apple, butter, creamed corn, dried pears, honey, cinnamon.
Palate: Brown sugar, nutmeg, honey, buttered scones, dried pears, cinnamon and apple pie. Nice balance between fruits, spices and baked goods.
Finish: Sweet spices, dried pears and apples, pie crust.
Last Word: A smooth, well balanced single grain whisky that would pair well with a platter of cheese, dried fruits and nuts.

Rating: 84/100

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky NAS 45%

P1020898Nose: Soft. Caramel, lemon, grapefruit, mixed dried peel, hint of wildflowers.
Palate: Caramel, leather, sweet tobacco, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, brazil nuts, dried pears, red onion, herbaceous especially rosemary.
Finish: Good length. Herbaceous, dried pears, vanilla, red onion, leather and sweet tobacco.
Last Word: If you have tasted a few grain whiskies you will find this quite a surprise packet in regards to the depth and complexity of the palate. Very tasty and the spirit is of a high quality. Kicks Suntory’s latest Chita Grain NAS whisky straight to the curb.

Rating: 85/100

Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky NAS 43%abv


Nose: Caramel, vanilla, banana, creamed corn, bread dough, paprika. Also a fair whiff of base alcohol/acetone.
Palate: Banana, butter, creamed corn, licorice, bread dough. Not complex but that is often the norm with young, bourbon barrel aged grain whiskies. There’s alcoholic bite not from the abv strength, but from youth.
Finish: Is short on paprika, creamed corm, banana, licorice and base alcohol.
Last Word: Really not something to savor as a ‘sipping’ whisky and there are cheaper options in Japan that could be used in something like a highball.

Rating: 75/100

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

Ichiro’s Choice Single Grain Whisky 1981 62.4%


Nose: Smooth for such a high alcohol content; earthy, notes of chocolate, liquorice, orange and asphalt.
Palate: Again, pretty smooth with soft grain, molasses, liquorice, pepper and orange.
Finish: Medium length: soft oak, orange, liquorice, with a mix of some classic rum (molasses) and Bourbon (liquorice, orange) qualities.
General comment: A good if not outstanding grain whisky. Lacks the wow factor.
Rating: 82/100

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky no age statement. 43%abv


Nose: Pear, lemon, liquorice, oak, Juicy Fruit chewing gum, Straw, fresh strawberries and cream and fresh herbs.
Palate: Stewed pears, oak, liquorice, a bit dry and dusty with some pepper and nutmeg spice.
Finish: Medium length, straw, pears, liquorice. Drying.
Last Word: This is a solid, easy to drink grain whisky. The nose is the highlight.
Rating: 80/100

Kawasaki 1982 Whisky Live Tokyo 2011 Single Grain Sherry Butt. 65.5%abv


Nose: Smooth grains, big sherry, fine aged rum, eucalyptus throaties, pine, creamed corn, leather, warm flapjacks. Inviting! Water adds maple syrup.
Palate: Again smooth grain, candied nuts, dry sherry, a less sweet/dryer Ron Zacapa 23. Pine, gentle oak, fresh roast java. Quite smooth and drinkable at 65.5 per cent. Water brings out sweet spiced rum of the highest quality.
Finish: Very long, one you feel you can still taste the next day. Dry sherry, fine rum, pine, licorice, creamed corn, oak and pine.
Last Word:  An excellent spirit that never lets me down.
Rating: 90/100