Yamazaki, 12yo

OwnerSuntory Holdings via Beam Suntory
StyleSingle Malt
Strength43% (86 Proof)

Thanks to a bottle donation there was suddenly this rare opportunity to once again try this classic Japanese 12 year old single malt from Osaka’s Yamazaki distillery. Like many age statement release from Japan this one was discontinued a few years ago and bottles have all but disappeared from most shelves. What’s left fetches a rather high price due to increased collectibility.

Nose: Sherry steamed green apples create a nice interplay between sweet and sour/acidic notes. Unfortunately the sherried aspect fades and only the green apples stay. After the first contact with the palate the nose becomes almost undetectable. Still, quite lovely. (8/10)

Palate: This is the very principle of a light and fruity single malt purified almost out of existence at first but then, very slowly, dark planks of oak float up from its depths to bob about on gentle waves. This is very polished and there is not a whole lot of individuality to this whisky but it’s very enjoyable. (8/10)

Finish: A soft, dark, smooth and, surprisingly, very long lasting afterglow that reaches almost to the mid-point of my chest. Rather unexpected for a bottle strength whisky but very welcome. (8.5/10)

Balance: There’s nothing to complain about at all but also nothing that really makes you think. But if you take it own its own very light and gentle terms it actually has quite a bit to offer. (8/10)

Glengyle Kilkerran, 12yo.

Glengyle Kilkerran 12yo., close-up
OriginScotland, Campbeltown
OwnerMitchell Family
StyleSingle Malt
Strength46% (92 Proof)
Wine SearcherWine-Searcher

The 12 year old Kilkerran is the baseline single male release of the youngest Campbeltown distillery, Glengyle. The name Kilkerran was chosen to avoid confusion with an existing Highland blend bottled under the same name of Glengyle.

Nose: Wood sticking out of a roll of wet felt that’s been drying since someone spilled some lightly peated whisky on it a little while ago. Later some wine notes making a non-committal showing in the background. (6.5/10)

Palate: A bright flash of an initial hit infused with mildly sour plums spreading out from a high center splashing outwards towards the edges of my mouth. Almost seems to float a millimeter or two above the tongue refusing to make contact. Geometrically interesting but not a ton of flavor. (7.5/10)

Finish: The splash from the palate leaves a ring of residual flavor around the fringes of the mouth that is quite pleasant. But there’s not a lot happening in the back. There’s bits alive in slow waves on my breath but overall it sort of just peters out. (7/10)

Balance: The dynamics of the palate is the most interesting part but I wish there was just a little more of a constant deep finish to enjoy afterwards. The nose is… a bit meh. (7/10)

Tomatin, 12yo, 2018

OriginScotland, Northern Highlands
OwnerTaKaRa Holdings via Takara Shuzo
StyleSingle Malt Whisky
CasksBourbon, Sherry
Strength43% (86 proof)

Nose: Slightly sour and otherwise there is simply not much there. (5/10)

Palate: Nice! After the largely absent nose the rich and butter flavors comes as a pleasant surprise. (8/10)

Finish: This one lingers pleasantly but ultimately fades out into astringent wood notes. (7/10)

Balance: Overall not shabby but I really wish the nose was living up to the rest of the whisky. (6/10)

Aultmore Foggie Moss, 12yo

OriginScotland, Central Speyside
OwnerBacardi via John Dewar & Sons
StyleSingle Malt Whisky
Strength46% (92 proof)

Nose: Clean wood, some hints of licorice. Water flattens it. (6/10)

Palate: Citrussy, leans toward grapefruit. Water opens things up wide. (7/10)

Finish: Burnt sugar, nice warmth, hints of lemon around the edges. Water teases out some darker notes. (7/10)

Balance: Decent dram but what is gained from water on the back end comes with a hefty price at the front. (7/10)