Yamazaki 18yo (Official Bottling)
Not that long ago I reviewed the entry level Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve. Today we’re going up a bit. Not only in age, but also in price. With the hype surrounding Japanese whiskies and Yamazaki in particular, the price of their 18yo has seen a steep increase. If you want one, it’ll cost you. You should be prepared to shell out 200 euro, easily.
I obtained a sample a couple of months ago (thanks Henri!), but I just didn’t get around to taste it until now. Here are my thoughts.
Yamazaki 18yo (43%, OB)
Nose: Very, very condensed at first, but with plenty of glue and nail polish remover. Very characteristic for Japanese whiskies. Or so I’ve been told 🙂 If you give it time in the glass, it will reward you. Lots of green banana, brown sugar, red apple. Also mango, apricot, dates and raisins. Some sweet rum, peach and a hint of soy. Very complex. Big thumbs up!
Taste: Tobacco and cinnamon, along with some cloves. The nose is sweeter than the palate appears to be. Coffee, nutmeg and bitter orange. Creamy and mouth coating with some tannins.
Finish: Long, meaty and dry with some wood spices.
That nose! Wow, very good. The palate is a bit more pedestrian though. But it can’t be denied that this is a very good whisky. Just shy of scoring 90 points in my book.
Overlooking the price of this whisky is difficult though. It wouldn’t be that hard to find two bottles of similar or better quality, for the same price of one Yamazaki 18yo. What would you do?
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.