Context: I’ve been anticipating this dram for some months ever since hearing about its release. I’m excited and I’m not approaching it with any sense of it being anything other than high quality (bang goes any objectivity!). One of my all time “drams of preference”...oh bollocks, I’ll call it what it is....one of my all time favourite drams, is the 2010 Yamazaki Sherry Cask. I use the present tense as I still have a bottle left unopened. I managed to snaffle a couple of bottles when they were an affordable £49.99 just two and a half years ago. At that time I’d been through the basic Yamazaki expressions (10, 12, & 18yo) with the 18yo being the absolute stand-out for me in what is a very impressive trio. The Sherry Cask represented a new high; rich, deep, and velvety with the ability to transport you, for a few sweet moments, out of the humdrum and on to a different plane (a quality that should be tattooed onto a significant body part of any top dram in my opinion). It’s not beyond the reach of the 18 but for me it’s definitely another notch up. So, it is with some excitement and a soupcon of nervous anticipation given that this is a dram that has something to live up to, that I approach the new release.
Packaging: It doesn’t give anything away in that it’s more or less identical to the earlier release save for the inclusion of the new date (2012). Having said that, I’m a sucker for quality packaging and this whole range has an elegant simplicity that doesn’t distract from the contents.
Colour: Swirling it round the glass you get a checklist of Autumnal hues; beech, burr walnut, redwood, mahogany, and horse chestnut....there’s amber and ginger too. At rest, it settles to a rich dark copper/ochre.
Nose: Sherried honey, and fruit....big time.....rum soaked figs......caramel/toffee
Palate: Rum and raisin, spicy yet sweet......maltiness.........chewiness (makes your jaw want to vibrate)....subtle menthol blushes every now and then.... there’s dark chocolate in there.
Finish: Medium/long...tobacco hints...slight oaky/tannin astringency
What do I think? It’s a bit obvious isn’t it? I really enjoyed it and I get a great sense of pleasure knowing that I can return to it for some time to come. If you can still get a bottle I think that it's a great bang for your buck dram. It cost me £70 from The Whisky Shop (I got a 10% discount as I'm a member of the W club so it actually came in at £63). I realise that for many people £60-70 still represents a hefty wodge of cash but with this expression you are getting 30 single shots of pleasure and at £2 a shot! I think that is really good value.
Correction (2016) - Please note that the link above no longer works; you will see the words "Not Found".....unsurprisingly, the same can be said for the prices quoted!
© Alcock (2013)