Nose: Fruity, with some nice tropical notes. Light, rich honey, bananas, apples, pears, malt, and tangy oranges.
Palate: A bit more kick than the nose suggested. Banana, pear, and apples. Gentle, earthy smoke. Sweet honey and chocolate. Very oaky with some nice spices.
Finish: Dry finish that’s long and rich. Spicy, with pepper and cinnamon. Oranges, pears. Vanilla, big oak.
Thoughts: As an affordable member of the Yamazaki family, the 12 is good stuff. It is a good introduction to Japanese whisky. I like the heavy oak and spice, which gives it intensity beyond what the nose suggested. It’s also got some interesting tropical fruity notes, which was unexpected. Good, bold character here. Not a boring 12 year old, this one might actually challenge you.