After 2300 notes, this was the first time my software crashed and I had to rewrite a nearly finished review. I hesitated to just skip it, but here goes…
Yamazakura is ‘produced’ by Sasanokawa Shuzo, which is a Japanese spirits company that makes sake and schochu. They source their whisky from undisclosed sources. Remember you can blend Japanese whisky with other spirits or even Scotch bulk whisky and still call the end result ‘Japanese whisky’…
Until recently their releases were only available in Japan (where they have some pure malt expressions), but they teamed up with Les Whiskies du Monde (of Fujikai fame, cough) to create this ‘high-end’ Yamazakura brand. We’re getting two blended whiskies: a 16 years old and this no age statement version.
This blend is said to be composed of four malt whiskies and some grain.
Yamazakura Blended Whisky
(40%, OB 2016)
Nose: starts with some metallic / coppery notes, then followed by a growing floral side. Hints of salty nuts. Grainy notes and quite a lot of wet paper. Perhaps a hint of dry schochu as well. For some time I expected it to fold open, but it just stays flat. Very boring.
Mouth: raw and rough, very spirity. Lots of grainy, spirity notes. A hint of sweet vanilla and then some peppery wood, but in a rather plankish way. Quite nasty really. Not nearly as funky as Fujikai, just cheap and bland.
Finish: spirity. Luckily not too long.
Fujikai was a rip-off in my opinion, this is in the same ballpark. As a bottler you don’t get too many chances, I’m afraid. Around € 50-60. To be avoided.