963 Black Label "Smooth & Peaty" Blended Japanese Whisky (700ml)
Sasanokawa Shuzo (also behind the Yamazakura whiskies) has created a charming malt and grain blend here. Located in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, the company has been producing whisky since 1946, however their history is in sake and shochu which they've made since the late 1700s. The provenance of the liquid is not disclosed, however in true Japanese style, the producers say the flavour is aimed at "delightful surprise".
Tasting note: Pale, almost water-like. Primary, floral-fruity notes with distinct ripe pear, perhaps a little vanilla too. Light to medium bodied. Spices add interest and depth – as does a light smokiness. Fruity and more succulent towards the finish. Simple but easy to like. The palate delivers more than the nose suggests. 46% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.