Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Jun 2011

Yamazaki 18 Years

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

The first time I tried Yamazaki 18yo (at Spirits in the Sky four years ago), I immediately bought a bottle. Now’s the time to pay homage to this Japanese classic. One of my all-time favourites when it comes to (relatively affordable) Japanese whisky, although the price has taken a big hike since it won a couple of awards.

Yamazaki 18 is composed of toasted American oak sherry puncheons, European oak sherry butts and Japanese Mizunara oak puncheons.


Yamazaki 18 yearsYamazaki 18 yo (43%, OB 2008, L8CP3)

Nose: very very smooth, with a great interaction of chocolate, raisins and oak polish (maybe even a little glue). Soft vanilla. Luscious fruity notes, both dried (dates) and fresh (red fruits). Rather oriental as well: hints of baklava and incense, with a wonderful dampness. Herbal tea. Leather. Hints of dark rum. Syrup. Mouth: quite oaky now (with a resulting sourness) but this adds to the oriental character. Dried fruits (dates, prunes) freshened with citrus peel. Caramel. Creamy sherry notes. Bramble and honey. Tobacco. Finish: balanced sweet / dry and medium long. Maybe a hint of smoke?

A top quality dram, full of Japanese character but very rounded as well, which is slightly less common for Nippon whisky. No surprise it wins so many awards, this is highly recommended.

Be sure to shop around, because I’ve seen prices between € 85 and € 135 from retailers that usually have a similar price setting.

Score: 90/100

Yamazaki 18 Years 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-06-30
  • Sjoerd de Haan

    Its the same in the Netherlands. The importer/Yamazaki knows its popular, so they’ve decided to up their price by about 50%… Be quick…

  • gal

    This is a cracking dram. i dont even want to tell you how much it costs in Israel. Probably u can get a cheaper car in NL 😉

  • Michael

    Great whisky. Not available in Canada at all and not always easy to get in the US. I buy mine at Heathrow :-)

  • Pingback: Nieuwe aanwinst: Yamazaki 18yo | Cas' Whisky Blog()

  • MrBob

    I used to buy this regularly in the states for ~125-140 USD. Now they want 200. Great whiskey, but time to find something new.



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1933 notes by Ruben

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