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The Kurayoshi 18 Year Old Pure Malt Japanese Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 50%
The small-scale craft (or Ji) whiskies from Kurayoshi have been impressive. Blenders here often combine malt whisky from Scotland with locally produced whisky. This is not an uncommon practice in Japan, and the exact breakdown typically remains undisclosed. There have been several strong reviews for the 18 YO (see below). One can't help noticing the similarity in packaging to Suntory's Yamazaki 18...Other reviews… The high-alcohol strength is apparent on the nose, which is dominated by pepper, clove, and star anise spices. A mouth-drawing concoction that begins softly, with honey, orange, and apple peel, then grows in scale at the expense of the sweetness. There’s a takeover by root ginger and bitter fruit skins. The long-lasting finish reverberates with crackling spices and sour fruits. (1,140 bottles) 88 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Jonny McCormick (Spring 2018) ...Same, made in Nippon etcetera. By the way these bottles don’t say ‘blended malt’, they say ‘pure malt’. And no no no, despite the label’s design, this is not Yamazaki 18. Other countries, other ways… Colour: straw. Nose: some wax and some white fruits, with a very Speyside-y development, all on vanilla and orchard fruits, with a touch of mint in the background. Ex-re-refill Glenfarclas springs to mind this time. With water: traditional Speyside. Mouth (neat): fruit syrup, malt, a little white chocolate, some preserved peaches, some crystalised oranges. This is solid. With water: sweet, easy, good. No, really, it’s good. Finish: medium, fruity, with notes of hop. IPA. Comments: £260 at some auction in Europe! I’m wondering if we couldn’t launder all of Scotland’s unsold malts by sticking nice labels with big kanjis on them. We could buy a small broken 100L pot still and then call all our sourced whiskies ‘Kaledonya Distillery Pure Malt’. Or don’t you even need to own a still to become a Japanese distiller? What do you say? Some money to be made, no? Ha, money. But yeah, this 18 is good, just not £260-good. 85 points. - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com