Yamazaki 12 Year Old is a small step up from the 10yo which used to be the youngest expression in the core range of this pioneering Japanese distillery, until they launched a no-age Distiller’s Reserve last year and discontinued the 10.
Back in 1984, when this 12yo first hit the market, it was actually the first truly commercial Japanese whisky. Look where they are today…
Yamazaki 12 yo (43%, OB 2013)
Nose: starts oily, even quite dusty. Malty and grainy core that slowly grows fruitier. Peach and apple with light vanilla. Dried flowers and hay. A faint minty edge too.
Mouth: relatively thick and creamy but a little middle-of-the-road. Some fruits (apples) and honey, with delicate sweet spices (cinnamon mostly). Hints of dried coconut. Maybe the lightest hint of peat.
Finish: medium length, slightly biscuity with cinnamon, sweet wood and honey.
This Yamazaki 12 Years is a fine malt, but not one that will stick with me. Of course the 18 Year Old is easily twice as expensive nowadays, but I’d save my money for that one any time. Around € 80.