Nose: Sweet coffee, liquorice root and background blood orange citrus spring from the glass, but after further inspection soft brown sugar and ginger cake combine to give a warm hug. It's reminiscent of treacle pudding but with Asian spice, star anise and cinnamon, while background notes of mint leaves suggest superb cask integration over time.
Palate: Rich sweet spice with ginger explodes on the palate, softening with juicy dates and dark fruits. Subtle salty notes suggest blue cheese balanced against a note of dry sherry coming together and leading to a sensation of fine cocoa powder. The wood has played its part with perfect tannic structure, while notes of mango and papaya develop over time.
Finish: This whisky lingers with sweet anise and dry dark chocolate notes. Unctuous ripe fruit with tropical hints of blood orange dissipate, leaving soft liquorice and spice.
Comment: The palate feels weighty and full, while the flavours seems to bounce around balancing sweetness, savoury and spice. This creates a journey through to the lingering finish, where it almost seems to start again, lasting through to the next sip. Simply put, this is one of the finest examples of sherry maturation, Japanese spirit and time you will ever find.