Yoichi Peaty & Salty NAS 55%abv

P1050306Nose: Caramel salted popcorn, earthy peat, salted peanuts, mushrooms, fishing trawler diesel exhaust, marmalade, blueberries, vanilla.
Very salty, possibly the saltiest whisky I’ve tasted and no problem for me as a saltoholic. Peanut brittle, salted caramel chocolate, mushrooms, the earthy peat, mint chocolate biscuits, cola, nutmeg, pepper, seaweed. Water brings out vanilla and toasted marshmallows. Where the nose is reasonably soft/subtle, the palate is big and bold.
Finish: Heavily salted pork crackling, earthy peat, peanuts, ash, toasted marshmallows, mint jelly, seawater.
Last Word: Pretty much gives you all it has from the get go so don’t expect this to have many hidden treasures. One thing is for sure, I wish this was Yoichi’s standard NAS single malt instead of what they are currently bottling.

Rating: 88.5/100

Yoichi Single Cask 2005 10YO #406975 58%abv

IMG_4014Nose: Dusty oak barrels, old wardrobes, licorice, vanilla, peppermint, apricots, old leather satchel, cracked pepper, quince jam. A delight to nose and I would happily do so all day. A little water adds hints of toffee and tobacco leaf.
Palate: Tangy, luscious stone fruits, old leather, big salt, candy coated nuts, nutmeg, menthol, quince jam. Water reduces the salt and ups the quota of tangy apricot and quince jams.
Finish: Leather, menthol, mint, quince jam, cocoa powder.
Last Word: Another fantastic 10YO Single Cask Yoichi. Really a never fail in my experience.

Rating: An easy 90/100

Yoichi NAS 2015 45%abv

BAL_0457Nose: Mixed nuts, toffee, apricots, peaches, malt. Quite a light nose.
Palate: Mixed nuts, peanut butter, ginger, cola, oak, leather, a little rhubarb, menthol. Oily mouth feel.
Finish: Short on the mixed nuts, peanut butter, leather, rhubarb and menthol.
Last Word: The quality of the spirit is there no doubt. Nothing cheap or nasty about it though it’s not particularly complex. This whisky has a big problem though, it’s not very Yoichi. Where’s the peat, the maritime notes and flavors, the lovely smoke that magically appears after a number of seconds then rolls around the palate and compliments the usual stone fruits? Doesn’t have that bubblegum thing that’s often found in Nikka/Yoichi whisky either. Come on Nikka, if this is going to be the staple Yoichi single malt for the foreseeable future, lovers of Yoichi whisky deserve a whisky that truly represents the style we have come to expect from that great distillery.

Rating: 80/100 as a single malt whisky, 78/100 as a Yoichi whisky

Yoichi Single Cask # 204721 61%abv

Yoichi 204721Nose: Quite soft. Lemon, Raisins, mustard, ripe peaches, Arnott’s barbeque shapes, tobacco, sump oil, ash.
Palate: Ash, sump oil, burnt toast, tobacco, a little of that candy/bubblegum often found in Yoichi whisky. Also ginger ale, salt, cocoa and hot spices. Water neither adds or subtracts much in the way of flavors.
Finish: Drying on ash, tobacco and the hot spices.
Last Word: While not cheap tasting by any means this whisky is fairly one dimensional. Yes you can sift through and pick up some different flavors but the ash, sump oil and tobacco dominate. I’d still class it as lightly peated.

Rating: 80/100

Yoichi Single Cask # 419534 57%

BAL_7982Nose: Massively fruity! Nectarines, white peaches, dates, papaya, blackcurrants, leather, tobacco, a little oak and wood stain. Water adds toffee.
Palate: Again huge fruitiness. Nectarines, peaches, apricots, papaya. Leather, tobacco, toffee, pepper, wet forest logs. Water adds nougat, cherries and enhances the drier elements of tobacco and leather.
Finish: Long! The impression of the flavors lasted for 12 hours plus.
Last Word: I know at least a few readers have tried these Taradeshi Genshu(distillery only) 10 year olds and have been impressed. This one maintains that high standard.

Rating: 90/100

Yoichi Single Cask 1990-2001 10YO Wharehouse No.2 #223639 62%abv

p1010368_0Nose: Deep earthy tones. Caramel popcorn, high end Cuban cigars, blueberries, mild peat, cloves, pepper, stewed rhubarb, nutmeg, ginger bread. All wrapped up in an elegant package.
Palate: Again very deep and rich. Incredibly complex. Chewy toffee and malt, cloves, Cuban cigars, leather, ginger bread, raisin toast, earthy peat, sweet peat, blueberries, nutmeg, some minerals, walnuts, papaya and a slight oiliness.
Finish: Follows on the flavors from the palate and lingers on and on with some lovely mouth coating oiliness. Extremely approachable even at 62%abv.
Last Word: This baby is rare and it was a privilege to taste it. One of the very best whiskies I’ve tried and the best 10YO whisky I have tasted. Almost a spiritual experience. Can’t see another 10YO topping this one.

Rating: 94/100

Yoichi Single Cask Taradeshi Genshu 12YO #126654 57%abv

nikka-single-cask-sherry-and-sweet-126654-57Nose: Pecan pie, stewed rhubarb, overripe peaches, orange liqueur, earthy sherry, luscious dried fruits, almond nugget. Water makes this more musty/earthy.
Palate: Nutmeg, almond nugget, tangy dried fruits, salt and pepper, drying oak. Water adds orange and enhances the tangy dried fruits.
Finish: Nugget, cocoa, dried fruits, nutmeg, earthy, a little ash and drying oak.
Last Word: Sherry and not that sweet.

Rating: 88/100

Yoichi Genshu Malt 25YO Sherry Cask #203634 54%abv

p1010358_0Nose: Dry sherry, Japanese plums, candied orange glaze, brown sugar, Ron Zacapa XO Centenario, maple/golden syrup, nutmeg, tobacco, leather.
Palate:  Mouth coating. Canned prunes, cantaloupe, high end coffee, strawberry glaze, pine, rhubarb, pipe tobacco, Bovril, chicken stock, oak(but just enough).
Finish: Long, powerful, balanced and complex with most of the flavors on the palate.
Last Word: I’d love a bottle.

Rating: 93/100

Yoichi 12 45% Circa 2012

p1010125Nose: Sherry, toffee, mango, red grapes. dates, blueberries, oak, brazil nuts, light peat.
Palate: Blueberries, rhubarb, cashews, toffee, raisins, nougat, menthol, fruit tingles and mouth coating peat. Smooth.
Finish: Sherry, nougat, cashews, toffee, smoke and long, lingering, mouth coating peat.
Last Word: Compared to my last bottle circa early 2011, this one has a big reduction in spirit caramel and hence a return to form. A knockout daily dram.

Rating: 88/100

Yoichi SIngle Cask 1988 23YO Heavily Peated #100129 Warehouse No.15 61%abv

yoichi-single-cask-1988-warehouse-no-15-1988-100129-61Nose: Meaty. Gravy, beef stock/bovril. Toffee and tobacco. Heavily peated by Japanese standards. Sherry, soy sauce, cow hide, Betadine, pan seared scallops, grilled pork chops, yakitori chicken skin, eucalyptus, teak. Simply reeks of Japan. Yeh baby!
Palate: Stunning. Beef stock, chicken gravy, candied nuts, sherry, earthy and sweet peat. Honey lollipop, marshmallow, cinnamon, nutmeg, stewed rhubarb, peppermint, menthol, coal. Water brings out hot spices, prefer this one neat. Perfect mouth feel for my tastes.
Finish: Long! The sweet and peaty elements in perfect balance.
Last Work: Brilliant! More heavily peated Yoichi please Nikka.

Rating: 94/100

Yoichi SMWS 1985 23YO #116.13 “Timber Wood & Bonfires” 51.7%abv

yoichi-smws-116-13-23yo-51-7Nose: Very medicinal for a Japanese whisky. Bonfires from different woods. Malt, yeast, sea spray, moss, pie crust, stewed apples, butter menthols, overripe peaches.
Palate: Medicinal with a background sweetness to balance. Pineapple, toffee, preserved peaches, salt. Water tends to flatten this one.
Finish: Dry, but not a woody dryness, more ash/peat. Pineapple, bonfire, toffee, salt, pepper, vanilla.
Last Word: The most Islay Scotch like Japanese whisky I’ve tried but with underlying elements that are intrinsically Japanese in style.

Rating: 90/100
* Notes taken from a purchased sample.


Yoichi Single Cask 1991-2005 #129504 Warehouse No.15 64%abv

yoichi-single-cask-1991-2005-129504-64Nose: Camphor, wood spice, stone fruits, peat, blackberries, icing sugar, oak, wine gums.
Palate: Earthy, mushrooms, toffee, peat camphor, coal. Water brings out candied bitter nuts, marshmallows and some big hot spices. Subtle it isn’t.
Finish: Medium length. A little fruit, bitter nuts, toffee and loads of coal/ash/smoke.
Last Word: A little too big and brash for it’s own good.

Rating: 86/100
*Notes taken from a purchased sample.

Yoichi Single Cask 1991-2011 #129651 Warehouse No.15 63% abv

yoichi-single-cask-1991-2011-63-129651Nose: Sweet and sour sauce. Soy sauce, candied nuts, brine, lemon, peat, stone fruits, toffee, vanilla, teak, lightly medicinal, an earthy element. Not huge, but nicely balanced.
Palate: Toffee, candied nuts, marshmallows, sweet orange, pink grapefruit, light peat, pepper and ash. Water enhances the sweeter elements and adds some nougat and peppermint. Very nice indeed and good balance even at the full 63%.
Finish: Pretty much follows the palate and works with or without a little water.
Last Word:The type of dram that makes you want to pour another straight away.

Rating: 90/100
*Notes taken from a purchased sample.

Yoichi SIngle Cask 1994 18YO #400749 Warehouse No. 27 62% abv


Nose: Werther’s Originals. Rich summer stone fruits, light peat, minerals. Touch of sherry, varnish, light oak, autumn leaves, ham, sweet lemon, vanilla. Water adds some floral’s, earthiness and enhances the peat.
Palate: Very approachable even without water. A little oily. Figs, warm spices, raisins, light peat, smoked meat, minerals, marshmallows, ginger, salt, Werther’s Originals, coconut, fruit tingles. Water pushes the spices to the back palate and enhances the sweet elements, toffee/vanilla.
Finish: Minerals, toffee, marshmallows, warm spices, menthol, some ash/peat.
Last Word: Excellent! Love this one!

Rating: 92/100

Yoichi 15YO 45%abv circa 2012

yoichi-15yo-45Nose: Nectarines, peaches, apricots, mixed nuts, wine gums, a little peat, oak and pine.
Palate: Mouth coating. Mainly follows the nose but adds, some coal, smoke, salt, milk chocolate and peppery spice. Robust for ‘only’ 45% abv.
Finish: Short medium. Fruit and nuts a little smoke and a mineral element.
Last Word: Not as smoky as my previous bottle circa 2010/2011, which I preferred. Still a very solid whisky.

Rating: 88/100
*Update 24/02/2013. Down to the last quarter of the bottle and after 10 months the concentration of smoke and peat is starting to shine. Balanced with the sherry elements I’m adding another point to the score. 89/100 knocking on the door of 90.

Yoichi 12 45%abv


You can definitely see the common lineage of this one and the Yoichi 10. The extra age here is apparent in both the focus and complexity of the whisky. There is an extra dollop of peat (sweet, earthy and a little vegetal) and a lovely smoky development. One of my top few daily drams.

Rating: 89/100

Yoichi Taradeshi Genshu Single Cask Cask No. #408511 61%


Nose: Huge oak, huge stone fruits/stone fruit seeds, varnish, a hint of soapiness and some florals coming through with time. Then some nuttiness and smoked fish as the florals and oak get a little bigger. Sounds like it’s a bit all over the place but it’s a complex single cask and
I love them because of their individuality. The palate is massive, with giant hit of spice/salt infused oak and nuts. If it had had some of that lovely Yoichi peatiness in there somewhere it would have scored a point or 2 higher. The finish is long and warming and a little dry.
Rating: 91/100 points