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I bought this whisky a couple of years ago in Dubai airport and have been bringing it out to sample on very special ocassions. It is expensive so I don't drink it regularly but it really can becomme a talking point when having some friends around for dinner.
Japan isn't widely known as a producer of Whisky, however the Yamazaki distillery (owned by Suntory) opened in 1923. The location of the distillery just outside the city of Kyoto offeres pure waters, diversity of climate and a high humidity which is the ideal environment for the making a top class whisky.
It produces a range of whiskies including the 18 and 12 year old malts which are sold worldwide. These whiskies are ages in casks made of oak (Japanese, american and spanish oaks to be precise) which gives a very distinctive flavour. I am reviewing the 18 year old single malt here, which has a distinctivley different taste to the 12 year old. Unfortunatley I am yet to try the other types which are rarer such as the 50 year old, however without selling my house I am unlikely to try this in the near future.
The 18 year old is similar to a sherry whisky (aged in sherry casks) which makes it darker in colour than many whiskies. To me the dark copper-golden colour appears warm, rich and inviting.
The bottle itself has a quality appearance with a simple but effective label using gold type to enhance the refined look. The bottle comes presented in a cardboard box which again gives the impression of good quality (although a box is not alays to be trusted as I have discovered with some lower end brands)
The 18 year old Suntory Malt Yamazaki is sweeter than a lot of whiskies and much less sharp (this is usually a property of older whiskys as they mellow with time). The body of the drink has spicy tones that evoke the image of dark cherries and toffee and it has a long lingering dry aftertaste.
-----How to drink it-----
Please, please, please, do not buy this and add a mixer! Whisky all tastes pretty much the same once you add coke, so you really are wasting money if you choose to drink it like this. Perhaps add an ice cube (on the rocks) to stretch the drink....but believe me, a whisky drinker will even sneer at diluting it with melted ice.
The 18 Year old Yamazaki single malt has won five consecutive double gold medals at the San Francisco Spirits Competitions since 2008. Ratings aggregator Proof66.com places the Yamazaki 18-Year in the 97th percentile of all rated whiskies. In addition it has won awards form many other sources including the Beverage Testing Institute. I think those demonstrate just how good it really is.
I think I paid about £90 in dubai airport for a bottle of this 18 year old whisky. It currently sells on amazon for £97.38 This is very expensive compared to what I normally buy, but you really can taste the quality. Would I replace it when it runs out? probably not. I would try something different next time (and am hinting to my parents That I would like a rather expensive 30 year old whisky for my 30th birthday next year)
This whisky is incredible. If you want to impress guests or have a luxury tipple, give it a try! Highly recommended.
This is a full-bodied whisky with spicy cherry-like tones. The toffee aromatics of this copper-gold coloured whisky offer a pleasant, long, dry finish. Both Suntory YAMAZAKI 12 and 18 year old single malts are aged in casks of three different kinds of oaks: American, Spanish and Japanese. This gives Suntory Whisky its unique quality. Each drink has a distinct taste.