'Yamazaki 12 year Old is a pioneering malt in Japan, for which Suntory deserve great credit. In its early days, it was rounded and delicate...now it is more intense, confident and elegant. 8/10' Michael Jackson, Whisky Magazine, Oct 2002 IWSC 2011 Gold Medal Winner - Best in Class
Appearance - Clear dark golden with burnished gold highlights.
Aroma - Cinnamon, red apple, muscovado sugar and jasmine blossom.
Taste - Medium bodied and honeyed in style, this easy vanilla malt bursts with apple fruit and jasmine freshness but is made complex thanks to notes of candied orange peel, cinnamon and clove spice and balancing dusty cigarette ash and cedarwood dryness.
Aftertaste - Woody oxidised pineapple notes linger on the pleasant finish.
Rating - 4.5/5
Producer's Tasting Notes
Yamazaki is the first Japanese distillery established 1923. The distillery is situated in the vale of Yamazaki, an area of dense bamboo grooves at the foot of Mt. Tennozan outside Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital and stronghold of traditional Japanese culture.
The spiced wood arrives first then dried cranberries with a lasting muddle of orange marmalade and honey sweetness.
Customer Reviews: (31 reviews)
A lovely smooth whisky,I had to be persuaded by a guy in a French shop of all places but must confess he was correct,its a nice drink and very good for the price.Fruity first sniff, then sweet and full, drying at the end with a honey taste.
- john, 6th Nov '12
- Jason, Taiwan , 25th Oct '12
Tons of character, the oak really comes through on the nose.
Full bodied and very well crafted.
I'm not getting too much on the fruity side..maybe dried fruit perhaps.
Clove,vanilla and burnt caramel in the background as well.
Maybe a slightly sour note but fades quickly.
The Yamazaki has won a few awards and I can see why!I'll have to
hunt down the 10 year old next as I've heard good things about it.
Loving Japanese whiskeys these days!
- Kane, 31st Jan '12
It's as if the 10 year old Yamizaki has dived into a citrus lake. Refreshing, crisp and posessing great clarity. Expensive enough but still a bargain.
- Steve @ RumandReviews, 12th Sep '11
Tried the 12 year recently and was amazed at how smooth it was. Really good nose and very drinkable, my current favourite.
- Francis Groves, 23rd Aug '11
This is really smooth stuff. A must have.
- Ivan, 12th Apr '11
Simply stunning.One of the finest on the nose. Citric fruits and pineapple in abundance.I found it light/medium bodied. Smooth with hints of banana and honey then sweet spice. Finishes dry. Very moreish. Cant put it down!
- Marc, 26th Mar '11
Just fabulous and really a revelation!!!!! I mean the texture and smell are simply amazing, I'm very impressed by this little gem. I love Islay and Speyside whiskeys and now Japanese Suntory whiskeys!!
- anonymous, 5th Feb '11
Absolutely superb stuff - Macallan 18 and this are now my firm favourites
- anonymous, 21st Dec '10
Drinking it now. Incredibly good drink. It is incredible on the rocks. The 10 is quite good also, but the 12 is smoother. Wow! Just took another taste. I love it.
- Dacoz, 8th Nov '10
this is a fantastic whisky. It really is.
- will, chester, 26th May '10
At Frankfurt Intntl Airport, I got to try the 10y, 12y as well as the 18y Yamazaki whiskies. Being a very nice promotional initiative, unfortunately the malt was not at all that impressive. The 12y was my choice, where the 18y only slightly overcame in taste but quite heavily in price. The 10y I would not consider buying at all, totally w/o character. Even the 12y and 18y lacked the complexity I look for when buying single malt whisky
- Bengt Stromberg, Sweden, 5th Apr '10
well the nose gives indeed this banana/ cederwood smell, really sweet. I dreamed away...It has a medium body,it first tastes like sweet spices and goes to a dry feeling in the mouth with a lovely taste of figs. Really a welcome addition on my Islay malt dieet.
- anonymous, 4th Jan '10
Don't be a fool. I don't care where a whisky is made; if it is good, it is good. And this stuff is GREAT. Definitely in my top ten. Some might find it too thick and sweet. I knew I would love it as soon as I took a sniff.
- anonymous, 3rd Jan '10
Nice to see a negative review in this site. I tried it today, it was my first japanise whisky. I think its elegant, with a good flavour development, though I have to say the flavour profile is not my favorite. It kind of tastes like wood varnish or glue.
- Ain Stolkiner, 31st Dec '09
This is medium bodied to heavy. It has a viscous texture releasing malt, chocolate, sweet spice and some peat. It starts out sweet but by the finish starts to dry across the palate. Incredibly smooth dram of honey and cinammon. Could easily pass for a 12 year old Speyside single malt in a blind tasting test.
- Jason's Scotch Whisky Review, 30th Dec '09
Ignore terry - lincs, he would think that even beer not made in its place of origin is automatically inferior. You can tell care and attention has given to this whisky. Citrus flavours abound I'm definately a fan.
- Lee - Durham, UK, 30th Dec '09
This whisky is simply awful! You are really kidding yourselves ( and I suspect trying to economise ) by rating this highly. If this was labelled Made in Scotland you would be berating it! Don't try to be clever and presume different is better when it clearly is a totally bland and unbalanced product. Awful!
- terry - lincs., 14th Dec '09
On the nose my first impression was citrus mostly lemon then oak with a medicinal quality that I could not put my finger on. I found a good swirl in the glass brings that out. The first thing I noticed when I tasted was it was mouth filling. The oak really came through as did honey and more citrus and there was just enough smokiness. I think my pallet is strange because the finish was very quick with one last flutter of that citrus
- Jeff - West Chester, PA, 5th Dec '09
Flawless! Could easily be mistaken in a blind tast test for a 12 yr old Speyside single malt. Flavors of honey, citrus, cinnamon. The Japanese answer to Dalwhinnie!