Nose: Apricots, dried pears, barley, lemon sherbet, vanilla, wood spice, ash.
Palate: Barley, dried pears, smoke, salt, ginger, spearmint, lemons, oregano, oak. Mouth feel it light and crisp. Water brings out almonds and thickens the body a little.
Finish: Minerals, lemon, icing sugar, spearmint, ash.
Last Word: Easy drinking, no off notes, not particularly bold or complex and comes off a little younger that 10 years old.
Nose: Fresh cut timber, apricot, straw, pineapple, mustard, prune juice, passion fruit.
Palate: Passion fruit, strawberries, rye spice, nutmeg, salt, orange, pineapple, saw dust, balsamic. Light bodied.
Finish: Lots of chewy mints, passion fruit, pineapple, orange, timber.
Last Word: Has a number of typical elements found in many Kirin whiskies. Pineapple, passion fruit and Bourboneque is style. If your not a bourbon fan you probably won’t fancy this, but I like the fact that Kirin has it’s own house style at least in relation to other Japanese distilleries. This one although smooth and well made is not outstanding.
Nose: Peated and while by no means to Ardbeg or Laphroaig level peating, this would be classed as heavily peated by most Japanese whisky distilleries. You can pick up the peated note from 2 feet away. Diesel, creosote, barley, candy apple, dried pears, pomegranate, shoe polish, toffee.
Palate: Toffee coated nuts, nutmeg, toffee apples, tar, dried papaya, dried pears, spearmint, licorice. Water adds milk chocolate and cafe latte.
Finish: Tar, spearmint, toffee, a mineral element and lingers on cafe latte.
Last Word: I am not a peated whisky fanatic but this has a nice balance between the peaty and the sweeter elements of toffee, dried fruit and the bitter sweet cafe latte. These single cask Kirin have been available at the Fuji Gotemba distillery from time to time. I have tried a few but this one being bottled in 2005 is even rarer. Liked this whisky a lot from the start and I’ll definitely grab another if one becomes available.
Nose: Creme caramel, stewed apple with cinnamon, dried bananas, nutmeg, smooth creamy oak, spearmint, icing sugar and a coastal element like shellfish. With water there is a bourbony kick of orange, licorice and rye spice.
Palate: Baking spices along with a hit of pepper and sea salt. Brown sugar, stewed apples and the dried bananas. Water brings back the creme caramel plus blood oranges, licorice and salted cashews.
Finish: This is the let down as it is short and fairly thin. There’s some icing sugar, nutmeg, brown sugar and licorice.
Last Word: The nose is luscious, the palate complex for a grain whisky with decent balance, but the finish diminishes this as an overall excellent experience and knocks several points of the score.
Nose: 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.
Nose: 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.