Japan Mars Distillery Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Mars Komagatake Limited Edition 2019

Review of the second limited edition from Shinshu distillery

Origin: Kagoshima (Japan)
Type: Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Strength: 48%ABV
Ageing cassk: Ex-Bourbon and N/A
Chillfiltered: No
Added colouring: No
Owner: Hombo Shuzo Co.
Average price: € 130.00
Official website: www.hombo.co.jp
Vote: 83/100

After the revival of 2014, marking the first bottling of the reborn Shinshu distillery, let’s take a leap in the glass a few years and arrive at 2019, with the second of the three limited editions produced under Mars’ Komagatake label.
It was in fact in 2018 that 10,000 bottles of the first edition of this series were released, followed the next year by 9,000 of the one I am tasting today, and then closing the triptych in 2020 with no less than 15,000 of which I will be trying one shortly on this blog.
The maturation is not very clear, on the label it states ‘ex-bourbon casks and various other types of casks’, which slightly broadens the horizon: of course there is no shortage of speculation that speaks of ex-sherry casks and virgin American wood, but I stick to what I surely know and let the distillate speak for itself.

Tasting notes

The nose is a profusion of vanilla, flower honey, fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple, pear), orange marmalade, a waxy touch and a slight vegetal vein in the background. It evolves uncovering layers of nuts (hazelnut, macadamia), malt and a hint of toasted wood that embraces the aromas. Composed and elegant.
The palate reveals a spicy side that is not particularly pronounced, a sprinkling of black pepper and ginger on a light but not ethereal body that becomes sharper than on the nose. With a rather lively alcohol content, vegetal and sour scents come forward with currants, grapefruit, unripe pear, tobacco and lemon zest, mitigated over time by the return of the softer soul of honey and vanilla with a salty touch and a hint of smoke present especially along the length.
Quite long finish in which vegetal notes prevail with light spicy touches, citric impressions, pear and a slight smoky inflection.

An evolution from the first Komagatake I tried, the complexity and layering has increased, but it remains a rather young and immature whisky that still has a lot to say.

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