Region: Japan – 61.8% ABV – Likely all sold out everywhere but Master of Malt had it at one time for $148
As a lover of Japanese malt whiskies, I’ve been tracking Chichibu since the very beginning. And the beginning can be tracked all the way back to 2008. Yeah, Chichibu is a very young distillery but one that was sure to show promise with Mr. Ichiro Akuto at the helm.
For more info on the Chichibu distillery and Ichiro Akuto, be sure to check it out here at the Whisky For Everyone website.
I’ve tasted many of Chichibu’s new make releases (peated, heavily peated, cask finished, etc…) and was Sofa King excited to hear the announcement of their first actual whisky.
I bought this bottle the day it was released (back in 2012 in the UK market) and have been slowly sipping on it since then. With 2/3 of the bottle still left, I thought it was high time I finally and officially review this whisky.
Here we go, y’all:
On the nose — Well, this is a treat to the nose! Warm milk soaked Weetabix, a new catcher’s mitt and lemon bars. All of those scents are so well integrated and inviting.
Let’s dig deeper, shall we?
Apple porridge and a salted baguette. This is quite a foody whisky. And, for 61.8% ABV, it’s not to hot for the nasal passages.
Finally, there’s a touch of creamed honey and vanilla bean.
On the mouth — Very creamy and rich. Truth be told the mouth experience mirrors the nosing experience so well.
Wrap the nose up in a single spiced gumdrop version of what I described and that’s this whisky!
Due to the holiday season (well, holiday for we Jews – the holiday is called Purim) I feel there’s a lovely lemon filled Hamantashen quality to this, too.
Finish — Medium in length with spiced citrus fruits (namely lemon and etrog)
In sum – At only three years of age, this whisky proves that Chichibu has a wonderful foundation for great older whiskies to come. At only three years old, this whisky shows a balance and beauty that few other whiskies at this age can attain. It’s not the most complex of whiskies but it’s delicious. At 61.8% ABV it’s very easy going and approachable.
Keep your eyes peeled for more whiskies from Chichibu and let’s hope we see some of this lovely juice here in The States!