Mars The Revival 2011 Komagatake

Japanese single malt whisky, 3 years old [2011-2014]

58% ABV, ¥10800 (~£58.44) for 70cl

Score: 86/100

mars_revival_2011

What they say:

The Shinshu Mars distillery was built in the village of Miyata in 1985 by Hombo Shuzo Ltd. Hombo Shuzo Ltd. was established in 1872 as a producer of Shōchū a spirit drink typically distilled from barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (imo), buckwheat (soba), or rice (kome). The whisky produced at Shinshu was sold under the Mars brand, but production stopped in 1992 due to low demand. In February 2011 production restarted at the Shinshu Mars distillery and their first whisky ‘Mars The Revival 2011 Komagatake’ was launched on 6th August 2014. This is a three year old expression, lightly peated at 8ppm phenol and matured solely in ex-bourbon casks. A total of 6000 bottles were released at 58% ABV strength

Mars2011Revival

What I say:

Many thanks to Japanese whisky aficionado Bret Boivin for obtaining this sample

Colour:

Silver-gold, medium/long tears

Nose:

Clean, aromatic vanilla bean, sweet oilseed rape honey and icing sugar, dolly mixture sweeties, feinty alcohol hints (screenwash), a little spicy most likely from the alcohol content, cereal or hay notes

Taste:

Rich, chewy, thick and slightly white pepper spice, tinned fruit cocktail syrup, apples, pear juice, maraschino cherry, toffee or caramel with nutmeg, black cherry and dark cocoa hints

Finish:

Short toffee oak then a lingering red liquorice and a little bitterness (espresso coffee) of the peat shows through

Overall:

Flavour-packed, this has some feisty youthfulness that develops along with the peated elements to add a fiery kick on serial dramming. Up front however it is all sweetness and fruit cocktail or fruit-punch packed yumminess. The strength (ABV) and syrupy mouthfeel help carry a lot and give the feeling of a much more mature whisky than this actually is. I like it, I like it a lot in fact. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for more from the Mars distillery – something of a “Japanese Kilchoman” it seems.