Chichibu The First distilled 2008 (bottled 2011), 61.8%

Price: $144.00 Issue: Spring 2012 Reviewer: Dave Broom

Ichiro Akuto, whose family previously owned the now demolished Hanyu distillery, and have five centuries of experience in sake production, opened his boutique distillery outside the town of Chichibu just over three years ago. This is the first official release of whisky (rather than new make) and it's delicious. Lightly scented with touches of lemongrass, fennel pollen, sweet pear, and cookie dough, it has lovely balance and weight. Water allows it to spread over the tongue. One to watch. £90