Nose: Earthy, with damp peat, oak, leather, milk chocolate, candied apples, maple toffee, dark fruits, cherries, plum, black currents, and orange rind. There are some herbal notes here, most noticeably ginseng. Complex and inviting.
Palate: Upon arrival, this whisky presents a smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Gentle, silky smoke, tea, ginseng, toffee, dark sherry fruits, plum. All these flavours are almost flawlessly integrated.
Finish: Candied fruit, like caramelized apples and strawberries. Hints of smoke, maple toffee, oak, grass, rich caramel, and lingering herbal notes. A very long, semi-dry finish with a lingering spice.
Thoughts: The wood, the fruit, the peat, and the herbal notes have such harmony here. Kind of perfect, in fact. I suppose what’s most interesting about the Yamazaki 18 is the attention to detail. There’s nothing here that doesn’t suggest a top-notch production. Seems like everything was chosen and prepared with the highest regard for quality. But despite that, it doesn’t feel like an overly ‘engineered’ whisky, either. It’s layered, rich, and complex. I love this.