Nose: Sherry and Japanese oak at the fore. Malt, raisins, baking spices, dates, plums, pears, apples, cinnamon, caramel, and yes - cheesecake. A malty nose with a gentle spice compliment. Quite an inviting nose, altogether.
Palate: A quite light texture, with earthy flavours right off the bat. Sherry, earth, grass, gentle smoke, cinnamon, allspice, malt, cherry, and red apples.
Finish: Medium, with more malty goodness. Malt, nougat, hazelnut, smoke, apple, liquorice, grass, Japanese oak, milk chocolate, and orange candy.
Thoughts: Yeah... genuinely good. Expectations were low based on how affordable this is. But it’s without a doubt a decent whisky. These days Japanese whisky prices are absurd, but this is a solid whisky with an unmistakably Japanese character at an affordable price. It’s not too young-ish, with a malty character and surprisingly sophisticated wood and spice. It’s no masterpiece, but there’s a good level of style and complexity to this. Easily one of Japan’s best bang-for-bucks, even in a 500ml bottle. Recommended.