Kaiyō is a “negotiant” (independent bottler) from Hong Kong that purchases barrels of aged or unaged whisky from Japanese producers and matures and bottles them under the Kaiyō label… In this case, the barrels are single malt whisky from an unnamed Japanese distillery that have been “teaspooned” with whisky from…
[Sponsored Content] Japan was introduced to scotch whisky in the late 19th century, when sailors and traders shipped the spirit into coastal port towns – but it wasn’t until decades later that commercial production of whisky really took off. Two men are credited with kickstarting Japan’s love affair with whisky: Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru established the historic Yamazaki distillery together in 1924
Japanese whisky, to me, is all about art and subtlety. It’s aromatic, floral, subtle, and complex. … Japanese drinks giant Suntory has blended “selected” barrels from Hakushu and Yamazaki distilleries (both malts), and Chita distillery (heavy-type grain whisky). Unlike previous Suntory blends, this one relies on Hakushu as primary malt, not Yamazaki.
Peaty, with the same notes as the more seaweed-flecked Islay malts like Laphroaig but without the same intensity. The 10 year is aged in ex-bourbon casks (and allegedly spends some small amount of time in Mizunara casks) and is bottled at 45% ABV.
I get a ton of delectable fruits (most of which are tart, my favorite kind of fruit notes in whisky), excellent balance of wood and malt sweetness, and a proof that’s just the right amount of intensity straight-up, but can also handle some water. Nice stuff, even with the dominant banana notes.
Hibiki 12 is a widely-acclaimed blend of 12 year-old (or greater) Japanese whisky from global giant Suntory. It includes malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu and grain from Chita distillery. The components are aged in a variety of casks including ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and casks that once held Umeshu, a plum liqueur.
…Plenty of people like those banana notes and don’t mind some bitterness in the finish. To them I would say “Branch out! Try some malt from a whole ‘nother country!”… To the rest of us, I say skip it and start your Japanese whisky journey on something else.