Nose: wowie! Now we’re really talking! A luscious combination of prunes, christmas cake, chestnut honey, flints, dark toffee, dark chocolate and Corinthian raisins. With water: becomes more mineral at first, and then wonderfully meaty and ‘tertiary’. Think very old balsamic vinegar.
Mouth (neat): sure it’s very powerful but this mix of rich prunes and liquorice with a wide range of spices seems to work beautifully despite the relative dryness.
With water: unfolds like an evening raga (wot?) Notes of chilli and capsicum. Finish: very long, just a tad more grapey now. Blackcurrants. Some pepper and even more prunes in the aftertaste.
Comments: I really cheated, this one won gold at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2009 but I never published any notes on WF. Ite missa est, we have our Hakushu wonder. SGP:473 - 91 points.
N: Big sherry and grapefruit notes. Lemon Opal Fruits. Needs to be approached with caution due to the strength. Some polished wood and old oak notes. Needs time to open up. Slowly develops resin and cocoa powder aromas, mixed peel, aged Cointreau, dark chocolate and pine. After fifteen minutes, has developed gorgeous notes of candied ginger and exotic fruit – mango, plum etc. This is heady stuff. Water really lifts the polished mahogany character.
P: Massive oak, but with a dusty sweetness. Almost overpowering alcohol, really mouthwatering. The grapefruit and cocoa notes are there alongside the wood, but this really needs a drop of water to open it up. With water, the exotic fruit flavours really flower, and the zingy citrus is very much to the fore as well.
F: Very long, dry and mouthcoating as you’d expect. The lemony, grapefruity notes really sing, and sit well alongside the huge sherried oak character.
C: Not for the faint-hearted, nor for people who dislike sherry. The brave will be well rewarded, though. An absolutely epic dram.