Unless you’re really into whisky, you’ve probably never heard of Nantou Distillery. While it is part of a fairly large state-owned conglomerate in Taiwan, it is only a small brand outside of its home country. There have been a few Nantou releases in Europe (very small quantities), and I’m not sure about the United States.
I’ve heard mixed things, however, and before Nantou even had the chance to really make a name for itself, the powers that be have decided a rebranding was in order. I’m guessing this is just for the European market, but I’m really not sure. Whichever the case, Nantou now calls its whisky Yushan.
So far there are only three different expressions: a blended malt, an ex-bourbon matured single malt and an ex-sherry matured single malt. None of ’em carry an age statement.
I’ve gotten my hands on a sample Yushan Signature Sherry Cask. Curious to see how it holds up. As far as Taiwanese whisky, my only reference point is Kavalan, and that might be too big of a hurdle for Nantou.
Yushan Signature Sherry Cask (46%, OB, 2018)
Nose: Soft notes of glue and wood shavings, accompanied by rose petals, cookie dough, vanilla and raisins, as well as a touch of orange zest. Taste: Pleasant and rather a thick mouthfeel, with a good amount of spices (cloves, pepper and nutmeg), and a soft sweetness, expressing itself in the form of sultanas and vanilla. Finish: The spiciness lingers, as does the vanilla.
Overall a good entry level expression, although I could’ve done without the overt spiciness on the palate.