Yoichi 15 Year Old (Nikka)

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Grade: B+

Type: Japan, Single Malt

Age: 15 yrs

ABV: 45.00%

Price $125

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is creamy with some oak. The palate is sweet, light peat, extremely rich and spicy. The finish is more spice, fruity, apricots. With Japanese whisky I usually see them as being really smooth but without complexity. This expression is very different, the richness of it was a lovely shock to my taste buds. I love the sweet spicy oak on this. A must try!

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Amrut Portonova

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Grade: B

Type: Indian, Single Malt

Age: N/A

ABV: 62.10%

Price: $115

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores/Limited

The nose is fuity with chocolate and spice. The palate has a lot of fruit, spice, cinnamon, hot and intense. It has a nice port taste on the finish with some more red berries. This stuff really packs a punch but it’s still a pleasant enough dram. B/B-

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

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Grade: C-

Type: South Africa, Grain Whisky

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $40-50

Availability: Hard To Find

Despite all of the awards, I just can’t get into this whisky. I actually find it borderline offensive on the taste buds. The nose is similar to a bathroom cleaner that had some artificial vanilla added to it. On the palate there is some oak, but the oak tastes rotten or moldy. The finish was without any¬†distinct character. Admittedly, I was ready to start spitting it out at this point.

Nikka Taketsuru 12

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Grade: B-

Type: Japan, Vatted Malt Blend

Age: 12 Yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $68

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This is a vat blend of whiskies that are at least 12 years old from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. The nose has a lot of malt and wood. On the palate there is a really nice taste of sweet wood and malty dry fruits. there is also a nice raisin cake taste that lingers here. The finish is fast but with a little spice.

Yamazaki 12

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Grade: B-

Type: Japan, Single Malt

Age: 12 Yrs

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $55

Availability: Semi Rare

The nose is similar to an American bourbon, sweet with oak and orange notes. On the palate there is some slight heat and citrus that will linger into the finish. This one isn’t overly complex but it’s a great¬†even-keeled whiskey with some great ballance. Everyone should try this once.