Japan – 48%ABV – 700ml – Not Available through US stores | £56 | €55
So, apparently, “Lust” is one of the seven deadly sins. In Judaism, lust can be attributed to ones’ Yetzer Hara, or basically, ones Evil Inclination. The Jewish point of view is that all people have good inclinations (Yetzer Tov) and bad ones (Yetzer Hara) and that when one “sins” it’s more like you’ve “missed the mark” or not lived up to your potential.
You must be asking yourself at this point in time — “What in the blue F$%k is this guy talking about!?”
Well, I’ll tell you. The very second I saw the picture of this bottle of Yamazaki Sherry Cask, I fell in lust. Yes, I like Yamazaki well enough (I actually like it a lot and you can read my review of their 12yr expression here) but the very second I caught a glimpse of the color of the fluid contained within the bottle well, let’s just say my mouth watered. A lot. And I had to get a bottle good and quick. Does this make me evil? G-d, I hope not.
Actually, for as much as I “lusted” after it, I got the bottle during Passover and did not open it. For those of you who do not know, Jews who keep “Kosher for Passover”, we will not drink any whisk(e)y (or have any foods with grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, etc…). While perhaps my Yetzer Hara, or bad inclinations, made me buy this bottle; on the flip side of the coin, my Yetzer Tov, or Good Inclinations, told me to hold off on drinking any until Passover is done and be a good Jew. If you want to know more about the ins-and-outs of Passover, check it here. It’s actually a pretty interesting read.
Getting to the point
Anyway, let’s get a bit to the point here: WHISKY! and a damn good Japanese one at that! The Yamazaki Sherry Cask was one of my “You did it, you made it through Passover and now you can taste whisky” whiskies and it made me say WOW. The other was the Springbank 12yr Cask Strength and then on Wednesday April 7th I went to Whisky Live in NYC (the review of that event to coming in the next week). Ok, back again to my point, Yamazaki Sherry Cask. Let’s review it now before I ramble on more:
The Yamazaki Sherry does not have an age statement on it but reading around I found that it was matured in first fill Oloroso Sherry butts (tee-hee) for 12-15yrs. That’s a lot of time sitting in a first fill sherry butts! I guess that explains the gorgeous deep caramel/rusty blood color.
Initial whiff – Very lush and sweet. Stewed prunes with a side of Cafe Americano, deep chocolate notes and sweet corn (¿¿ is that the bourbony quality that I found in their 12yr expression ??), cinnamon and spice, lots of dried fruits and they run the gammut.
On the mouth – Chocolate covered tannins, back to the prunes (something sort of slivovitzy here…plums?), lush mouth feel, big sherry but not extremely “winey”, sweet and back to that bourbon quality I got on the nose. This is like a heavily sherried bourbon!!
Finish – This one stays with you and you’re thankful for it. Chocolates and a bit of leather, dried fruits and a touch of espresso.
In sum — Can I have some more?? Such a nice after dinner type dram. While it’ll warm you up if you need it to, those bourbon-type notes will work pretty hard to refresh you in ways you would not expect. Also, it’s a very easy going-down type whisky, smooth and quite approachable (even at 48%ABV). This is limited stuff too, only 16,000 bottles and, based on how incredible this is, I think this will go quick. Get it while it’s hot!
So, Japan, thank you once more! You never cease to amaze me. I think I’m turning Japanese. I really think so.