Happy Wednesday Everybody,
This week, we travel to the far east to a place called Hakushu, at the foot of Mount Kai Komagatake in the Southern Japanese Alps. Surrounded by pine forests and close to fast-flowing mountain streams (hakushu means 'white sand banks' and white is Japan's most sacred colour) Suntory built their second distillery in 1973.
At Hakushu West, which for a a brief period was said to be the largest single malt distillery in the world, twelve pot stills operate and in the Japanese manner, their varied design allows the distiller to produce spirit with remarkably wide variety of flavours. The malt is prepared off-site at Yamazaki, from grain brought from Scotland.
In the UK, we see both the 12- and 18-year-old expressions. In rare occasions do you spot the 25 Year Old. The 18 Year Old has picked up significant awards from the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) and International Spirits Challenge and is highly rated by most commentators.
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Sharp green apples; delicate and refined.
Taste: Deceptively light-bodied but with fruit and cereal in great balance. Peat merges with oak.
Finish: Spicy and lingering. Some tasters remark on a resemblance to Irish pot still make.