78

Score

Yamazakura 16 year old, 40%

Price: $138 Issue: Winter 2016 Reviewer: Jonny McCormick

Age statements are disappearing from Japanese whiskies, but this 80% grain content blended whisky from Sasanokawa Shuzo is evidence that age is no substitute for flavor. A tight nose of lychee, white pepper, allspice, and toasted oats is bettered by a sweet, light profile, yielding American oak characteristics of vanilla and creamed coconut. It's quickly dominated by intensely spicy seasoning overcoming late notes of burnt orange, fresh fig, and sour grapefruit peel before a finish of peppered mackerel. (1,992 bottles, Europe only)€130