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1981 Suntory Kioke Shikomi Pure Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml)
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- ABV 43%
A pure malt from Suntory that was on the market circa 2005, believed to be a vatting of Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts, and bottled at Yamanishi, implying a high percentage of Hakushu in the blend. Though, depending on your source, it may actually be 90%+ Hakushu. The distilling technique of this whisky employed the “direct fire” method, along with innovative bamboo charcoal filtration, and a traditional fermentation process using wooden tubs (Kioke Shikomi translates to “matured in a wooden tub”). Some have suggested this is stylistically similar to the 12-year-old Hakushu single malt. One bottle only to sell. 43% Alc./Vol.Other reviews... Colour: Pale gold. Nose: Much more happening in this one. Starts like a mix of nutmeg just like in the Hibiki 30 yo, butter, hay and mashed potatoes, getting then sort of smoky and oaky and finally rather grassy. Not particularly heavy I’d say. Mouth: Again, much more happening in this one than in the "Furudaru Shiage". Heavier indeed, pleasantly rough, malty, quite candied again but also rather smoky, liquoricy, almost kind of peaty – or is it peat indeed? Gets slightly cardboardy after that but it’s fine whisky no doubt. I’d say ‘northern Highlands style’, and direct firing may well have brought that extra-punch and body to it. Finish: Longer than the "Furudaru Shiage" for sure, still very powerful but probably grainier and more honeyed now. Good and very ‘Scottish’ if I may say so.
81 points. - Serge Valentin, www.whiskyfun.com