Single malt whisky - tasting notes

16 Feb 2012

Yamazaki 1980 ‘Vintage Malt’

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Although Yamazaki distillery was opened in 1923 (as the first malt whisky distillery in Japan), it’s uncommon to see vintage releases distilled before the 1980s (apart from one or two 1979s).


Yamazaki 1980 Vintage MaltYamazaki ‘Vintage Malt’ 1980
(56%, OB 2004, refill sherry)

Nose: immediately shows huge hints of scented cedar wood (cigar box). Typically Japanese in this respect.  A lot of plums, raspberries and chocolate. Hints of tobacco leaves and dried mushroom. Cinnamon. The slightest hint of smoke. Very clean sherry with that oriental je-ne-sais-quoi. Mouth: starts sweet and sour. Plenty of fruity notes (forest berries, prunes, grapes) with bags of spices and herbs (pepper, ginger, liquorice, thyme). Some meaty hints as well. Herbal tea. Bitter oranges. Very powerful. Finish: long, more noticeably woody now. Cloves and blackberry notes.

Very big and full-flavoured but maybe slightly past its due date already. Quite expensive if you’re looking to buy a bottle: around € 380. Look at for example. Thanks Jack!

Score: 90/100

Yamazaki 1980 ‘Vintage Malt’ 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-02-16
  • Johannes

    I really liked this one! Too bad i never tried the famous 1984 Vintage.



October 2015
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  • WhiskyNotes: Obviously there are new articles each year (see my post about last year's edition) and the latest releases / statistics are added each year. If you've
  • Nate: I've never bought a copy. Is each year very different or is just buying the most recent sufficient?
  • WhiskyNotes: Benrinnes :-) although calling it one of Scotland's finest distilleries may be a bit too much. However casks from 2001 are being released, I've found

Coming up

  • Caol Ila 1979 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Royal Brackla 16 Year Old
  • Irish malt 1991 'Maria' (The Nectar)
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Kavalan Podium

1889 notes by Ruben

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