Monday, 18 June 2018

dekantā @TweetTasting

I was really happy to be selected by Steve for the latest @TweetTastings, this time it was to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the founding of dekantā a company which "over the past three years has brought fine Japanese Whisky to all corners of the globe."

"The story of dekanta begins with the vision of our founder, Makiyo Masa. Makiyo’s deep rooted appreciation for Japanese whisky comes from a family history stretching back to the industry’s origin. She grew up learning first-hand from distillers with unparalleled passion for their craft. Given her background, she was shocked at the limited selection of Japanese whisky that was available when traveling abroad. Other than buying an airline ticket, people outside of Japan had no way to purchase authentic bottles. Makiyo knew this had to change. People deserved access to Japan’s finest spirits, no matter where they lived. In 2015 she unveiled dekanta, the first e-commerce website devoted to selling Japan’s most renowned spirits. Three years later, dekanta has shipped thousands of bottles to happy customers in over 60 countries."

Japanese whisky has been a bit of victim of its own success, 10 years ago you could could pick up a bottle of good whisky for less that £50 nowadays you are having to pay many times that amount. I'm really please to get the chance to try some, it's been a while! As usual with these things a small parcel arrives a few days before the tasting containing the two samples and a lovely little booked describing the drams.

The two drams for this tasting were the Yamazakura 21yo blend and the Eigashima 2011.

First up was the Yamazakura 21yo

The Yamazakura began it’s journey at the historic Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery in Japan where each of the components in this top tier blended whisky were aged at least 21 years. The whisky is meticulously blended using a combination of single malt and grain whisky. Bottled at 58% @ £340

My thoughts: lovely dark gold colour, slow fat legs when swirled. Initial nose honey and Oak.
Nose: sweet honey, blood orange, oak, chocolate. Over time I'm getting black cherries and cinnamon. Yummy!
Palate: thick, mouth filling dark brown sugar. Some honey notes, maly and dark chocolate covered raisins. A oaky dryness takes over giving a slightly sour note on the tongue.
Finish: Long dry chilli spice finish with lots of oak - great dram!
With water: the nose open up with red fruit taking over from the honey. The oakiness is more prominent. The palate matches the red fruit notes and reduces the malty notes.
Lots of spice now replacing the sour note - yummy!

Bottler's Notes: "Sasanokawa Shuzo Company Limited has started whisky production in 1946. The 8th company head, Tetsuzo Yamaguchi, who made suggestion on whisky production and obtained whisky production license, served as the initial president of Fukushima-KenNan-Syuhan Limited 3 years later. Enthusiastic feelings of the 8th company head Tetsuzo Yamaguchi and both companies are packed in the whisky manufactured by the Sasanokawa Shuzo with traditional technique upon planning by taking advantage of Fukushima-KenNan-Syuhan Limited’s network. This whisky, carefully blending the malt whisky which is strictly selected from various malt whiskies with the grain whisky which is aged for a long time, is aged slowly and thoroughly in wooden casks. Please enjoy the condensed mellow fragrance and the complex flavor."

Other tweeters thoughts:

Next was the Eigashima 2011 a special limited bottling to celebrate the 3 years of dekantā

Eigashima Distillery is one of the rising stars of the Japanese Whisky industry. A family owned distillery, Eigashima has kept production small in order to retain the high production standards and innovative new offerings. Last month they celebrated the 130th anniversary!  Distilled in December 2011 and bottled in 2018 this single cask 11055 is bottled at 58.4% and limited to just 300 bottles @ £500.

My thoughts: Lovely dark yellow gold colour, gravity defying swirls, no legs to speak of. Initial nose seaweed bonfire.
Nose: Lots of maritime salt, seaweed, sweet peanuts orange oil all wrapped up in bonfire smoke.
A delight for the nose!
Palate: Another thick mouth coating dram, this one is more golden syrup rather than dark brown sugar, more sweetness, less dryness. Lots of lovely chilli spice notes as well as the oak. Lemon drizzle cake with a cup of strong coffee!
Finish: Long balanced finish - spice and smoke mixing together beautifully - a great dram!
Comments: For me this ones hits a perfect balance - the nose, palate and finish have been beautifully delivered at a high ABV. No need for water this is a perfect sipping dram to share with friends!

Bottler's Notes: "The Kikou bottling pays homage to the rich history of Japanese whisky by aging in a cask from the world renowned Port Ellen distillery in Scotland. This is an acknowledgement of the Scottish education of Masataka Taketsuru, the industry pioneer regarded as the “Father Of Japanese Whisky.” By learning the process of Scotland’s premiere distilleries, Taketsuru was able to bring those concepts back to Japan and launch the first Japanese whisky distillery. Nose: Floral initially, coastal notes, seaweed, beach bonfire, lemon sherbet and citrus notes. Taste: Burst of lemon then ashy, embers, earthy, flame roasted coffee beans. Finish: Burnt toffee, dry, sweet peat, dry roasted peanuts."

Other tweeters thoughts:

Many thanks to Steve for organising, dekantā for the samples and my fellow tweeters for a great evening of whisky tasting!

Two great drams, but both at pretty hefty price tags - I wonder how many will be as lucky as us to actually try them?

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