Yamazaki 18yo Mizunara 2017 Edition - easily one of the most anticipated (hyped?) whiskies of 2017. So does it live up to the hype? Over on the blog, we've posted @hendyo's write-up from the Sydney launch, along with my tasting notes. - Summary thoughts? It's got an absolutely stunningly beautiful nose, but the palate doesn't quite live up to it. It's by no means a let-down though, and is still a very impressive whisky (flanked by some very impressive packaging too - the weight and smell of the box really need to be experienced in person)! -- Mizunara is a unique and fascinating wood, and whilst this isn't the best example of a Yamazaki aged entirely in Mizunara I've seen (see further down our feed for an incredible 1979-2002 single cask Yamazaki Mizunara), it's definitely an unusual and enjoyable dram. If you get the chance to try a dram, I'd recommend it at least once. -- #whisky #InstaWhisky #Instadram #WhiskyGram #RareWhisky #WhiskyGeek #WhiskyBlogger #TimeforWhisky #DramFull #WhiskyHK #WhiskySYD #WhiskyFabric #WhiskyLover #威士忌 #ウイスキー #위스키 #WhiskyLife #WhiskyPorn #HongKongWhisky #🥃 #Yamazaki #Yamazaki25 #SuntoryWhisky #Mizunara #Yamazaki18 #YamazakiMizunara #JapaneseWhisky #japanwhisky
BALVENIE FIFTY YEAR OLD! 😱😳😱 - After writing about whisky regularly for over 5 years, you tend to receive a lot of bottle and samples - either for review, or just through dram-sharing arrangements with mates. Sometimes the whiskies are somewhat standard, and sometimes they can be pretty special, but they're always appreciated and enjoyed... - ...and then there are whiskies like this Balvenie 50 Year Old (1963 - 2014, Cask no 4570), which is just in another league all together. 😳😲😱 - Let me back up. A while ago I was chatting with a friend who works at William Grant & Sons, and I helped with something pretty minor. The sort of thing for which you might expect a thanks via e-mail. Well, no, this friend decided to be a *little* more generous, and promised to send me a sample of The Balvenie 50 year old. - Now, I've received samples of rare whisky in the past, and usually 30mL is considered pretty generous, so when I saw this bottle arrive, with ~120mL in it, it's fair to say I was blown away. If you consider that a full bottle of this is £26,500, that makes this sample worth about £4,500 (or over $45k HKD / $7,500AUD). 😱 - Of course, this was intended for drinking, and that's exactly what I did as soon as I got home. The remainder will be shared amongst mates, with one 30mL sample put aside in the dramlibrary for future enjoyment. - Thoughts? I'd heard mixed reviews about the 2012 release, so went in cautiously, but I needn't have worried - this is a lovely whisky. Yes, the age is evident - the oak is noticeable, and there's a slight earthiness, but overall it's a nicely balanced dram with some great sweet notes of spiced honey, vanilla and toffee (there were two 50yo bottles released in 2014 - this was the less heavily sherried of the two). - So wow, what an incredible experience. Check out TimeforWhisky.com in the coming weeks for more photos and my full tasting notes. Cheers!
Suntory Blended Whisky - the bottle might not be as iconic as Hibiki, but there is an icon on the label - a silhouette of Suntory's Chief Blender Fukuyo-San (whom I was lucky enough to meet a few years ago, and who was an absolutely humble gentleman). - Few details are available on the whisky, but only 1,000 bottles were released, all at 43% ABV. It's probably safe to say there's Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita in the mix, and rumour has it there's a high percentage of ex-Mizunara stock.. - Has anyone tasted it, and if so - thoughts? Did you pick up on the Mizunara notes? - Thanks for @dramgoodstuff for the hospitality and letting me snap all the awesome bottles on display.
There are a lot of great whisky bottle designs out there, but it's pretty hard to find a bottle design more iconic and stunning than Suntory's Hibiki range, and in particular the 30yo. - Add the intricate engraving seen on this Limited Edition 30 (released in Japanese Travel Retail only), and you've got surely one of the world's best-looking whiskies. - Of course, it's not about the bottle, but what's inside, and luckily the Hibiki 30 is a winner there too. Thanks to @kamdaswani for showing me around the awesome new @dramgoodstuff shop in Sheung Wan (Hong Kong), and for the drams. If you're after a rare whisky in Hong Kong, there's a pretty good chance Dram Good Stuff have it... - Who wants one of these adorning their whisky shelf? 🙋🏼♂️🥃
Over on our site (TimeforWhisky.com) you'll find my thoughts on this beauty - the legendary Black Bowmore (3rd release) - a heavily sherried 1964-1995 31yo Bowmore, bottled at 49%. - There were 5 Black Bowmore releases in total, released over a ~23 year period (the first in 1993, the last in 2016), but the first three seem to garner the most praise. All were put into cask on 5th November 1964, and they must have been some incredible casks, because this particular release was just magic. Huge Bowmore tropical fruit, huge intense, clean, beautiful sherry notes. Just a really incredible whisky, one that developed immensely over the 45 minutes or so I spent with it (yes, when the whisky is this good you can easily spend ~45min with 15mL of whisky!) - Deserving of the legendary tag? Absolutely. Check out the site for full tasting notes and further history of the series. -- #BlackBowmore #Bowmore #1964Bowmore #BowmoreBlack #Islay #whisky #singlemalt #scotch #instawhisky #instadram #HK #oldwhisky #rarewhisky #HongKong #whiskygram #WhiskyHK #timeforwhisky #HKlifestyle #威士忌 #ウイスキー #위스키 #WhiskyLife #WhiskyPorn #HongKongWhisky #🥃 #DramFull #RoginsTavern #Osaka #japanwhisky
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has released a new blended malt series with the first bottling, dubbed ‘Exotic Cargo’ on sale in the UK now, and coming to Australia in early 2018. - As a Society member and friend, @hendyo was invited to preview the Exotic Cargo last night at the brilliant @archierosesyd bar (an @smws_aus partner bar). - Combining a number of blended malt whisky casks, all distilled and filled on the same day in 2006 and matured in first fill Spanish oak hogsheads, the combination culminated in a blended malt that is not only amazingly radiant on the nose but also represented a good, balanced sherried malt. True to its name, the nose and palates were riddled with exotic notes including fruitcake, molasses, stone fruits and plenty of palate tingling spices. - There has been a tremendous amount of excellent single malt releases from the Society over the past years notwithstanding recent bourbon and cognac releases and this first blended malt has certainly continued the path of excellence from the Society. - Aussie SMWS members, keep an eye out for this one early next year. Cheers. - 📷: @hendyo
Highland Park 25 has long been my equal favourite in the current core range (equal to the 40) - I just find the 18 doesn't have enough to excite me, and I don't enjoy the flavour profile on the 30 as much as the 25 or 40. - So when I saw this older style bottling of HP25 @thewhiskylibrary's booth @whiskylive Hong Kong 2017 (by @whiskymaghk) I had to try it. - It was a nice dram - honey, slight allspice notes, with loads of sweet chewy caramel, but it didn't seem to stack up to my memory of the more recent 25yo. It also seemed a little soft - perhaps dulled in the bottle over time / with oxidation? - Whatever the case, it was a fun opportunity to try an older style bottling of a much-loved distillery. Cheers. -- #whisky #InstaWhisky #Instadram #WhiskyGram #RareWhisky #WhiskyTasting #WhiskyGeek #WhiskyBlogger #TimeforWhisky #DramFull #WhiskyHK #WhiskySYD #WhiskyFabric #WhiskyLover #威士忌 #ウイスキー #위스키 #WhiskyLife #WhiskyPorn #HongKongWhisky #🥃 #HighlandPark #Orkney #HighlandPark25 #HP25 #HighlandPark40 #IslandWhisky #Peat
Just over a week ago I toured Yamazaki Distillery, and tasted the 25yo again (because, at ¥2900 for a dram, you're not going to find it cheaper anywhere in the world). Not from this bottle (this one's a special edition for the travel retail market), but the same liquid. - I've gotta say...whilst I love Yamazaki, and I think the spirit is beautiful, for me there's just a little too much oak extraction on the 25yo. Don't get me wrong - it's clean, has a lot of complexity and some nice notes, but there's just a little too much in the way of oaky tannins for me. A nice whisky, but (especially at today's prices) there are other whiskies I'd rather drink. - ...like the 17yo ex-Mizunara Hibiki component I also tried at the distillery (for only ¥1500). Now that was a beautiful whisky! If only they bottled it...(though I guess they kinda did, with the 18yo 2017 Yamazaki Mizunara. Stay tuned for a post on that one soon!) - Cheers. -- #whisky #InstaWhisky #Instadram #WhiskyGram #RareWhisky #WhiskyTasting #WhiskyGeek #WhiskyBlogger #TimeforWhisky #DramFull #WhiskyHK #WhiskySYD #WhiskyFabric #WhiskyLover #威士忌 #ウイスキー #위스키 #WhiskyLife #WhiskyPorn #HongKongWhisky #🥃 #Yamazaki #RareYamazaki #Yamazaki25 #Yamazaki50 #YamazakiDistillery #YamazakiWhisky #WhiskyJapan #JapanseWhisky
I really, really love @bowmoredistillery. From some of the incredible vintage bottlings that can be found in bars (stay tuned for a few of these coming up in the feed over the next few weeks) to some of the more recent releases, they just continue to put out fantastic bottlings - both OBs and IBs. - Like this 11yo distillery special released for this year's Fèis Ìle. It was available only at the distillery, but of course bottles were going to end up on the secondary market. As there were 2,000 released though, the prices on the secondary market weren't too ridiculous, and I managed to grab this for a reasonable price. - Made up of ex-Bordeaux and ex-Oloroso casks, the notes sounded right up my alley, and I was happy to find they were spot on. There's a sweetness, lots of Christmas cake, rich cherries and furniture polish. There's subtle hints of that Bowmore tropical fruitiness too, and all the flavours come together beautifully, with a clean palate (no sulphur) and only minimal tannins. I heard this referred to as the bargain of Feis Ile 2017 and I can see why. - It's not going to take the place of the 1989 23yo Port Matured as my favourite Bowmore (and probably favourite whisky), but it's a lovely dram and worth grabbing if you come across it. Cheers. -- #whisky #InstaWhisky #Instadram #WhiskyGram #RareWhisky #WhiskyTasting #WhiskyGeek #WhiskyBlogger #TimeforWhisky #DramFull #WhiskyHK #WhiskySYD #WhiskyFabric #WhiskyLover #威士忌 #ウイスキー #위스키 #WhiskyLife #WhiskyPorn #HongKongWhisky #🥃 #Islay #Bowmore #FeisIle #BowmoreWhisky #IslayWhisky #RareBowmore #YumWhisky