Origin: Kagoshima (Japan)
Type: Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Ageing cassk: Ex-Bourbon
Added colouring: No
Owner: Hombo Shuzo Co.
Average price: € 140.00
Official website: www.hombo.co.jp
Of Hombo Shuzo’s complicated relationship with whisky I had the opportunity to talk about in the article on Tsunuki, today I go back to the Mars brand with the bottling that represented its revival, in 2014.
It was in 2011 that the Shinshu distillery resumed producing whisky, and celebrated this rebirth (or revival) with a bottle packaged in a box: light peat (8ppm), cask strength, three years spent in ex-bourbon casks and 6,000 bottles produced to represent the new face of the distillate desired by master blender Koki Takehira.
A very young whisky then, but given the success built up over the years, I still expect a quality dram.
The entry on the nose is somewhat primal, with lots of malt and yeast and an almost buttermilk-like sour note. It opens up to sweeter hints after a while, with vanilla, trifle, marzipan, pear, lemon biscuits and a vein of mineral and menthol freshness. In the background, an ectoplasm of vegetable smoke. It softens further as it remains in the glass, always maintaining a young and simple spirit.
In the mouth, the smoky compartment is more evident, but it is really a matter of nuances and persistence in length, while a certain alcoholic exuberance introduces a spicy touch of white pepper and ginger on a distinctly vegetal profile with sweet and fruity traits. Pear and hints of peach are accompanied by lemon, cooked wheat, Greek yoghurt, celery and a distinct mineral vein that tends to grow with time.
Not very long finish of pepper, pear, vegetal notes, pencil shavings, surrounded by toasted wood.
As simple and one-dimensional as you might expect from such a young whisky, there is no shortage of points of interest for what is in fact a preview of things to come, and which will be very good.
Interesting from an educational and nerdy point of view, a little less so for light-hearted drinking.