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92 points

Matsui The Peated, 48%

Satisfyingly smoky, with noticeable structure and complexity: grilled fish, burning aromatic grasses, cocoa powder, and jellied and tropical fruit flavors. Soft pulpy fruits to taste, with red apple, nippy ginger and pepper spices, a surge of orange and mango flavors, and a backdraft of smoke. The nostrils still detect a delightful kipperiness. Smoke writhes like a serpent on the finish, sliding off walls dripping with sweet tropical fruits. (3,972 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

92 points

Matsui The Peated, 48%

Kurayoshi Distillery lies between Osaka and Hiroshima in the foothills of Mount Daisen, where it produces single malt whiskies brought to proof with soft, mountain spring water. The label, adorned by Hokusai’s The Great Wave, portends this whisky’s rush of flavor: satisfyingly smoky, with noticeable structure and complexity. Kippers on the nose, with burnt aromatic grasses, cocoa, and jellied fruits, and a smoky palate of red apple, ginger, pepper, orange, and mango. Smoke writhes like a serpent on the finish, sliding off the walls dripping with sweet tropical fruits. Number 19 in the 2019 Top 20

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

Matsui Mizunara Cask, 48%

Very pale, fresh whisky, with lychee, fresh pear, morning dew, apple notes, and just a dash of salt and white pepper. It’s a honeyed and thick dram on the palate, with caramelized apples and tangerine, then late bittersweet citrus that attempts to dampen down the jackhammer of pepper. Enjoyable weight, texture, and flavors, but the mizunara signature notes are a little subtle and underplayed. (3,972 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

89 points

Matsui Sakura Cask, 48%

A nose of cola gummies, Dr. Pepper, fresh green apple, poached pears in cream, dried strawberry, tree blossom, white pepper, allspice, and mint leaves. This whisky, finished in a cask with Japanese cherrywood heads, begins delicately with sweet fruit syrups, before unwrapping golden caramel with a core of spice. Baked apple notes, strudel, unsweetened citrus, and a tang of bitter fruits, which abate to a mouth-coating finish of orange oil. (3,972 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)