Thanks to /u/theslicknick6 for this sample.
If I have “oops” in my whisky reviews, it would be not getting around to some distilleries. One of which is White Oak Distillery, which I’m told is in the Hyogo prefecture. It’s too bad I’m utterly terrible at geography, or that would have significance to me.
The distillery is owned by Eigashima, who makes sake and shochu. Sake is my kryptonite… wait, not. It doesn’t kill me. It just makes me throw up. What’s that called? Oh, tequila.
And Shochu and I are still in the courting period. So far it’s being a nice guy, if you get my meaning.
None the less, the White Oak distillery has been in the whisky game for a long time, but only released their first single malt in 2007. Granted they may have done so before, it’s debatable, as they labeled it poorly and it was back when Japan was still figuring out this whole “whisky” thing. For instance, Eigashima Shuzo obtained their license to make whisky in 1919, and there are old bottles they made that say “Scotch” on them.
None the less, White Oak made whisky again and it went into their blend. Which makes sense, both from a taste point of view and a financial one. Gives you time to mess about with your flavours and a regular income that won’t be hurt by young ages.
So today I try my first from the Akashi line, which is their single malt line. This specific on is Akashi White Oak 5 Sherry Cask.
Do we know what kind of sherry cask? Not really. I can tell you it looks like this specific single cask was all sent to Germany to be sold online and confused me.
Based on what I could find, this whisky is made 1 month of the year, bottled and then sent out. Otherwise you don’t get it.
So let’s see how this is, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Types: Sherry
Outrun: 960 bottles
Colour: 10YR 3/10
Nose: Brown sugar, cranberry, cherry pie filling, alcohol, lemon candy, fennel, raisin
Lighter baking notes abound in this one. it’s really, really sweet. And spicy. The youth is evident here, but not a turn off. Honestly haven’t had a big sherry whisky in awhile, so it’s a nice wake up to it once more.
Very sweet though. If you’re diabetic… well, you shouldn’t be drinking anyway. Nose diabetic need not apply? No, that’s silly.
Taste: Cherry pie, raisin, limoncello, caramelized cranberries, plum
More sweet, very red fruit forward. Very, very sweet. There’s a little bit of darker, non-sweet notes, but… it’s sweet. Very sweet.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trading in my “diabetes is a target fat guy” card anytime soon, but… Wow this is sweet. Needs some spice to balance it out. Or you know, something other than fruit.
Finish: Caramel, raisin, anise, allspice, mushroom, ginger, yeast
Oh thank goodness some earth and spice. I mean, it’s at the end, and it’s late, and we needed it awhile ago, and this is still very sweet but… I mean, it showed up right. So that’s something.
Why did it not bring back the milk it promised?
Conclusion: It’s hard to review this. As someone who loves sweets, it should be up my alley. But as someone who likes a more balanced whisky and spice, it’s not.
This is really, really sweet. I can see why some people swear by it. Frankly I’m shocked that it’s so young, because beyond some light notes at the start, this is pretty impressive. They aren’t hyper aging this. Spain must have sent them some really good casks, that’s all I’m saying.
Keep up the good work, hope to try more.
World Whisky review #211, Japan review #32, Whisky Network review #998