Origin: Okinawa (Japan)
Type: Blended Malt Japanese Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Japanese Rum
Added coloring: N/A
Owner: Helios Distillery
Average price: € 93.00
Official website: www.helios-syuzo.co.jp
After my first approach with Tokinoka, I find myself once again with a Japanese blended, presented in an unusually ‘normal’ 70cl bottle.
The distillery was founded in 1961 under the name Taiyou in Okinawa, producing Rum from local sugar cane, and acquired its current name only eight years later.
Within a few decades it obtained permits to produce other spirits, including sake and, of course, whisky, debuting with its own Kura (meaning Warehouse) in 1991.
Today it also owns a brewery.
This blend should (the conditional is obligatory) contain only Japanese whisky, partly from Hokkaido and made with local peat (present in quantities not even remotely comparable to Scottish peat) and partly with single malts from Okinawa, blended in ex-Bourbon casks and finally matured in casks that have contained Rum produced by Helios itself, all for an unspecified time.
Herbaceous and floral (with a hint of lime), it has pleasant notes of peeled almonds, candied orange, green apple, vanilla, cereals infused in alcohol, lemon zest. Sweet but not ethereal lightness.
Slightly spicy at the start thanks to a touch of ginger, on the palate it has a delicious salty hint that melts into the malt and apple aromas, with a contribution of anise, liquorice, bitter orange, lemon, vanilla, hazelnuts. The tones are more sour than sweet, even edgy at times, keeping the attention high despite the low alcohol content.
The finish is moderately long and dry with anise, hazelnuts, liquorice and a saline trace on the lips.
An unexpected blended wine, far from being as soft and pleasing as one might think, whose imbalances make it interesting to drink, angular and imperfect but intriguing.