White Oak Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky, 40%

Price: $45 Issue: Winter 2016 Reviewer: Jonny McCormick

Like a trip to the stalls of an old spice market, the traders beckoning you closer with their colorful wares. Nutmeg, fennel seed, and caraway on the nose, then papery dried oak leaves, toast crumbs, and slightly pungent notes of chive and shucked pea pods. This is a fatter, more glutinous whisky than the single malt. Lemon glaze, fudge, honey, nectarine, and kumquat balance an undercurrent of pepper, cinnamon, and mustard seed. A slightly sour swallow, then the spices reign supreme.