Suntory Chita – Single Grain Japanese Whisky

Japan – 43%ABV – ¥8400

A few weeks ago I was in Seattle on business.  For a couple of evenings while there, I had the opportunity to have dinner and drinks at a great place called Liberty Bar.  Liberty specializes in sushi (pretty damn good sushi at that – well, I can vouch for the vegetarian rolls…) and fine spirits of all kinds including Japanese whisky, Pisco, Scotch Whisky, American Whiskey, Mezcal… the list can go on and on.

While I was at Liberty, Andrew, one of the proprietors and reader of of the JSMWS blog, introduced me to some super fine spirits.  And this one, the Suntory Single Grain Chita whisky, was one of them.  Thanks again, Andrew!

I was quite impressed with the Chita and wanted to share the good word on it so I reached out to my friend Yoshi Morita for a review sample.  Yoshi was kind enough to send me some and now I can share my thoughts with you – ヨッシー、ありがとう!

I will soon be posting the details regarding my Seattle trip and my full whisky experience while I was there.  It was an amazing ride for me and my palate!

For now, let’s get to this whisky!

On the noseSweet oranges – even orange creamsicles.  Better yet, baby aspirin.

Fresh grains and farm hay.

Even a little farmy or, better yet, “farm catty”.  What do I mean?  It’s like sticking your nose in a farm cat’s neck and taking a whiff.

I’m a cat guy and I’ve known some farm cats, what can I say?

Smelling the taste of endive spears now…

In general, there’s a fresh produce feel to the nose – a mix of many scents to form one solid “produce” scent.

Very pleasant nose.

On the mouthBack to the oranges, perhaps tangerines better describes the flavor of this.

Like drinking silken pantyhose or a licking velvet – that’s what the mouthfeel is like.

A bit salty (hello, unexpected!).

FinishMedium in length with a few more of those “produce” notes.

In sumThe nose is great!  While in flavor it’s not incredibly complex, it’s completely delicious.  Very drinkable, very easy going.  Lovely for the summer time and I imagine you could mix this quite nicely with some Chambord and perhaps a little Grand Marnier with a few other components to make a super fruity funtime drink.

Just for fun, let’s see how badly Google translates my tasting notes into Japanese:





And now from the Japanese back into English:

Suuitoorenjicreamsicles orange on the nose too. Better yet, a baby aspirin.Hay, grain and farm fresh. Farmy little or, better yet, “Farm loaf.” I do you mean?This is like taking a nose to smell and paste the farm cat’s neck. I am a cat man and I knew some of the farm cats can I say? One solid “production” of fragrance mix to form the smell of many – now smell the taste of endive spears … In general, fresh produce not feel my nose. Very pleasant nose.

In the mouth in orange on this page are perhaps better illustrates this orange.What is the taste – like drinking bread Miya Yoshi silky velvet. Bit salty (Hello, unexpected!)

Finishing these notes are a combination of the number and length of the “Generate.”

In short a great nose! The flavor is incredibly complex, but it is completely delicious. Drinking, go very easy. I am very fruity and your lovely summer funtime Shan and some very clean and some other components to make a drink, please imagine that most probably a mix of Grand Marnier it.

Single Malt and Scotch Whisky Extravaganza – 2011 Spring schedule – plus a discount for you!

What is the Single Malt and Scotch Whisky Extravaganza?  In short, it is a top notch, gala, whisky tasting event (mostly single malt Scotch and Japanese whiskies) that travels to 14 major markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

I was at the 2010 Boston event and it was fantastic.

As you may or may not know, I am a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (of America).  And in case you’re not aware, the SMWSA does a series of tasting events called “The Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza“.  The “Extravaganza” is now in it’s 18th year.  If you’ve never been to one of their events, you may want to change that, and soon!

Perhaps I can help.  I’ve been working with the good folks at the society and they were kind enough to extend to me a discount code for my readers; specifically for people who are not members of the SMWSA.  Tickets to one of their Extravaganzas, for members, are $120.00ea, non-members are $135.00ea.  If you use the discount code JMSWS11, those of you that are currently not members can purchase your first two tickets at the member price of $120.00.  Not bad!

For more information on the SMWS events and on how to purchase your tickets, click here.

See below for a full listing of their Spring & Fall events schedule.  I always jump at a chance to meet my readers so, for those wanting to come out and meet yours truly, I will be at both the New York & Boston events.


Port Charlotte 8yr Single Cask – Bottled by the SMWSA – Cask number 127.1

Islay region – 66.5%ABV – $85 (no longer available – only 231 bottles available)

Years ago, my father (now divorced from my mother) did something crazy.  He gave up his apartment, bought a 25′ foot sail boat, rented a spot at a local marina a lived life on the water.

He cracks me up.  He could live in a pick up truck in a parking lot if he had to/wanted to.  This is a man who lives the saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.  What a man!

Back to the boat and marina:

Growing up, I’d see my dad every weekend.  When he lived on the boat I had the great opportunity to experience the ocean air, the beach and a shit ton of dead horse-show crabs, fish, seaweed, etc….  The sights, the smells, the water, it was a great time and I looked forward to every weekend.

Tasting this whisky brought me back to that time in my life; in his life.  I’ve said it before – one of the most beatiful things about whisky is that it can transport to back in time through smell and taste memory.  A wonderful, wonderful thing.

On the noseI’m instantly transported to a hot summer day at the beach by the docks – salt air fills my nose as does engine exhaust (though mild).

Brine and soot abounds.

Sweet vanilla and even some citronella.

Hints of baby sick.

With water: those baby sick/sour milk notes are much more prominent (almost makes me wish we had a little baby in the house again).

A touch soapy now too.

On the mouthLike squeezing a hot pepper and lighting the oil spray on fire.  In my mouth. Sweet fancy Moshe, this is some hot stuff!

An extra tiny sip before I add water unearths some peat smoke and a sooty exhaust pipe (and a dash of sweet  honey & jam).

With water (bringing it down to about 58%ABV): Oof, that’s better!

Berry jam from the start then some cooked butter.

Creamy vanilla and a soft mouth feel (it was tough to tell the mouth feel before… when my mouth was on fire).

FinishLong finish with an odd mix of briny green olives and honey – two layered flavors.

In sumThis one will put hair on your chest or make your boobies bigger (for the ladies out there).  While I’m not sure either is a good thing, my point is that this is some powerful, powerful stuff.  However, it’s right up my alley.  Even though drinking this reminds me of summer days on the shoreline of Connecticut, it’s thoroughly enjoyable in the wintertime and man, do we have a winter here in CT in 2011!!  The snowiest January on record!!

The Knights of the Whisky Round Table have some dirty-dirty secrets!

Oh, does the Whisky Round Table have some dirty secrets for you this month!!

So what is the “Whisky Round Table”?  It’s a group of 12 whisky bloggers (listed below), gathered together by Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Guid Scotch Drink, that get together every month to discuss a single question/topic that is whisky related.  The Round Table is hosted on a different blog every month (12 months, 12 bloggers) and the host gets to choose the question/topic of the month for us all to discuss – and we urge you to join in on the conversation using the comments section of our blogs!

Today’s great question is brought to you by the good folks at Whisky For Everyone and the question is:

“What is your whisky ‘dirty little secret’? That’s the whisky that you always enjoy but would never let your ‘whisky connoisseur’ friends know that you do (apart from us!). It is the big brand/well known name that you may drink when out or the one that always sits in your whisky cupboard, alongside your limited edition cask strength bottlings from those niche distilleries. Tell us why it is your ‘dirty little secret’ whisky, as we like a good story. ”

Follow this link for the answers to this great question.

As a reminder, the valiant knights (and links to their blogs) of this round table are:

Chris – Nonjatta
Keith – Whisky Emporium
Karen & Matt – Whisky For Everyone
Ruben – Whisky Notes
Mark – Glasgow’s Whisky (And Ale)
Neil & Joel –
Lucas & Chris – Edinburgh Whisky Blog
Jason – Guid Scotch Drink
Gal – Whisky Israel
Mike – Whisky Party
Peter – The Casks
Joshua (hey, that’s me!)– The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society

For all of the Whisky Round Table discussions, click here.