yuza third edition 2023 review

Yuza Third Edition 2023

I’ll admit to not always keeping abreast of the Japanese whisky industry. At least not as much a I maybe should be. When a whisky friend handed me a sample of the Yuza Third Edition 2023, that was the first time I came across one of this distillery’s releases. Having now tasted it, maybe I should’ve been paying attention earlier.

Yuza Distillery is one of the new wave Japanese producers, having only been built in 2018. However, the founding company has been around for almost three quarters of a century. Kinryu was formed in 1950 when nine local sake brewers came together.

As is common with Japanese distilleries, Yuza is unapologetically inspired by Scottish practices. The distillery itself was (partly) designed and installed by Forsyths, the leading manufacturer of distillation equipment from Rothes, Scotland. According to the Japanese Whisky Yearbook, the first trial distillation was also left with Forsyths. Barley (of the Laureate variety) is imported from Scotland as well.

Yuza Distillery is a modest producer, only distilling around 110,000 litres of alcohol per year. The distillery’s Yuza Third Edition matured in a mixture of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and Japanese Mizunara oak casks. There’s no indication of age, but we know it can’t be much older than 4 years (and it likely is younger). The Yuza Third Edition was released in november 2023, while Yuza started distilling in October 2018.

yuza third edition 2023

Yuza Third Edition 2023 (55%, OB)

Nose: Light, bright and elegant. Floral touches as well as fruity elements. Bananas, coconut and citrus or, dare is say, yuzu. Hints of vanilla extract, but also some definite barley influence. Touches of cereals, barley husks and also a mineral-esque chalkiness, accompanied by marshmallow.
Taste: Mouthfeel is almost oily. Is there a tinge of peat? I don’t believe that’s possible. Or at least, I don’t think the distillery uses peated malt. Interesting! Lemon pith and grapefruit, as well as barley husks, dark spices and some damp oak. Very chiseled and pure.
Finish: Medium to long. Hints of bran and draff. Soft orchard fruits.

What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in technical perfection. There's really not a false note here. The Yuza Third Edition 2023 is a very neat, pure representation of Japanese single malt. Thanks for sharing, Herbert!

Photo: Passionforwhisky.com

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