SMWS 120.7 Sweet, fragrant and satisfying

Hakushu 14 Years Old 1999 120.7 Sweet, fragrant and satisfying (55.5%, SMWS, 1st Fill Bota Corta Butt, 517 Bottles, 2014)

  • Category: Japanese single malt whisky
  • Origin: Hakushu Distillery
  • Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask #120.7
  • ABV: 55.5%
  • Cost: £229 for the pairing of SMWS G12.1 and 120.7 buy from SMWS
  • Score: 91/100


What they say:

The nose carries fragrant blossom, deep Pedro Ximinez notes as well as sweet, rich rolling tobacco. There’s treacle spiced buns, rum and raisin fudge, dates, blackcurrants and spices galore. Espresso with lots of brown sugar was quickly replaced and complimented by coffee cream dark chocolates. To taste we found kirsch cocktails with burnt orange skin, liquorice, caraway seeds and teriyaki glaze. “It has everything!” Water brought out cider brandy notes, with cranberries, polished wood, mulled port, boozy fruitcake and rolling tobacco all contributing to the party. Spicy and tannic to finish, we found the sweet meatiness of slow cooked pork.

Vintage 09.1999
Bottled 2014
Age 14 years old
Casktype 1st Fill Bota Corta Butt
Casknumber 120.7
Strength 55.5 % Vol.
Number of bottles 517

SMWS 120.7 Sweet, fragrant and satisfying

What I say:

Thanks to Ben at Ben’s Whisky Blog for organising a share of this duo of Japanese whiskies from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The second in this pairing is from Hakushu Distillery in Japan (SMWS Distillery Code #120) and from a 1st fill Sherry Cask (Bota Gorda? perhaps a 600 litre cask)


Dark Burgundy Red (19/20), slow large-sized tears leave substantial legs


Fig jam, pain au chocolat, cocoa, dark chocolate, a little creamy vanilla, sugary treacle and molasses, a hint of cinnamon spice or Danish pastry and more dried fruits


Fig jam, Membrillo (Quince paste), dates, fig roll biscuits, raisins, becomes savoury and meaty with lots of chewy molasses, treacle and toffee, dark chocolate, cigar boxes and tobacco leaf, Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and dark cherry kirsch, black forest gateaux


Long, treacle-sweet with cocoa and fig


Wow what a dram! Everything from the colour to finish was just packed to bursting with immense sherry character! The only casualty may have been the sacrifice of distillery character in this dram – none of the herbal and pine nature I associate with Hakushu were evident in here for me. Despite this however I really, really liked this one!

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