Origin: Nara (Japan)
Type: Blended Malt Japanese Whisky
Ageing barrels: Japanese cedar wood
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Kamiki Distillery
Average price: € 56.00
Official website: www.kamikiwhisky.com
We introduce a new Japanese blend, produced by a distillery located in Japan’s ancient capital, Nara, home to many temples and the country’s spiritual centre.
The distillery is in fact located in the Omiwa shrine, where spirits are traditionally served as part of religious rituals, made by local artisans, and its name means ‘breath of God’.
Their blend is made using whiskies of local and foreign origin (not specified, but it’s easy to guess from which country), combined to age for an unspecified time in Japanese cedar barrels, of the particular Yoshino Tsugi variety, typical of the area, barrels that are usually used for sake and for the first time for whisky.
The blend doesn’t follow precise rules in proportioning and ageing, so each batch is slightly different: the one in my hands is 2018.07, in the 50cl bottle.
The aroma is almost like opening a Caribbean cigar humidor, with that mixture of tobacco and wood (cedar, ça va sans dire) that intoxicates the nostrils of cigar lovers. The scents continue on the sweeter side of ripe pears, vanilla, cereal biscuits, tangerines and lemon juice. Dry and fresh, the blend of woods works wonders.
Tobacco and the sweet dryness of wood also prevail on the mouthfeel, almost like a humidor juice, oily and warm with a pleasant spicy touch of ginger. Pears, yellow fruit, pineapple and citrus fruits are muted a bit, leaving a vanilla and fragrant, almost floral, bed in the background.
The finish isn’t very long, dry, of tobacco, wood, citrus and spice.
A very interesting nose is matched by a somewhat monotonous and flat palate, where the wood seems to eat away at the distillate, leaving little room for depth and evolution. However, it is original and worth trying, given its affordable price, but it doesn’t leave much of a mark.