Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Jan 2010

Hakushu 1989 cask #9O 50021 for TWE

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Hakushu (written 白州 and pronounced Hak-shoo) is part of the Suntory group and was built in 1973 in the Southern Japanese Alps. It’s high above sea level, twice as high as Scotland’s highest distillery (Dalwhinnie).

This Hakushu 1989 single cask comes from a sherry butt, which is very rare (it’s probably the second single cask sherry release ever). It has a very dark, mahogany colour.

 

Hakushu 1989 50021 TWE Hakushu 20 yo 1989 (62%, OB 2009 for The Whisky Exchange, sherry butt #9O 50021)

Nose: a bit restrained at first, but it opens up with big sherry notes of course. Excellent plums and raisins but also lovely fresh, sweet/sour notes of tangerines and bramble liqueur. Fragrant honey. Balanced wood influence: it’s certainly there but it never overpowers. Water brings out a hint of smoked wood. Mouth: hot and woody at cask strength but very rich. Spicy cake (some cinnamon and ginger). Plums again. Definitely from a clean sherry cask (why do the Japanese always seem to pick perfect casks?). The sandalwood gives it a dry and tannic edge, maybe even a few rubbery hints. Finish: quite long and smooth. Warming sherry with a sweet aftertaste.

A perfectly balanced sherry bomb – a Japanese Macallan, as it were. On the other hand, I still prefer the Longmorn 1969, which is just as sherried but less dry and more complex (although it’s older). This Hakushu 1989 is one of the Gold Medal winners that is still available from TWE (around € 200).

Score: 90/100

Hakushu 1989 cask #9O 50021 for TWE 4 Ruben Luyten 2010-01-28

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1732 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.