One of the first Japanese malts to put the country on the map as a Whisky making legend, Yamazaki 12 Year Old is an exquisite dram that does its country proud.
Made by Suntory in their Yamazaki Distillery, which is the oldest in Japan, this was one of the first Japanese malts to become popular outside of Japan when it was first released in 1984.
A big part of Japanese Whisky making is the idea of capturing harmony and balance. This is a big part of Japanese culture as a whole, especially in regards to the harmony between man and nature.
This is the same concept that they try to capture in their Whisky, striking a balance between flavour and feel, and trying to bring out the best spirits from nature’s best ingredients.
It is best summed up on Suntory’s website, which states, ‘Suntory Whisky is the fusion of the delicate forces of Japanese nature itself combined with the passion and precision of the best Japanese artisans.’
Tasting notes for the Yamazaki 12 Year Old
Bottle cost: £120
The Yamazaki 12 Year Old is popular for a reason. It is an excellently made Whisky and is a wonderful example of Japanese craftsmanship
It perfectly captures the essence of Japanese harmony by creating a balance between sweet and spice and having a luxuriously smooth body.
The nose opens with delicate floral notes and a hint of soft vanilla. There is a slight hint of cinnamon that really entices the taste buds and adds a lovely warmth. The vanilla brings the oak of the cask to the foreground, adding a sweet edge to the overall dram.
On the palate, the oak brings out softer floral notes and it is distinctly like mizunara, which is Japanese oak. Cherry blossom and sweet nuts such as peanuts and almonds abound. They are rich and mellow, bringing the oak wood to life.
Citrus fruits and coconut bring in an exotic feel and give some depth to the sweet vanilla flavours.
The finish is gentle and smooth, with more fruit notes and cinnamon spice.
An excellent example of a malt that encapsulates the art of Japanese distilling.