Shinshu Mars

Mars 2011 Komagatake Zenkoji Temple (57%, OB, Sherry & American White oak, 1200 Bottles, 2015)

Review: Mars 2011-2015 Komagatake Zenkoji Celebration

Category: Japanese single malt whisky

Origin Shinshu Mars Distillery

Bottling: Official: Hombo Shuzo Ltd.

ABV: 57%

Cost: 9,000 Yen (£56.00)

Score: 88/100

Mars_Komagatake_Zenkoji-2011-2015

What they say:

Mars Release 2011 Komagatake Zenkoji Memorial Edition. This 2011 released in March 2015 was limited to just 1,200 bottles, and was only distributed in the Nagoya region of Japan. The bottle is in commemoration of Zenkoji Temple – a historic Buddhist temple and pilgrimage destination in Japan. This temple has been paid tribute to in the past by Karuizawa, as well as Suntory, which produced a special Owners Cask Zenkoji Edition. Like the last Komagatake release, this edition was aged in Sherry and American White Oak. It is lightly peated and bottled at 57% ABV. Anyone who missed the last release, and anyone looking to collect a rare bottle of Japanese single malt, should definitely go for this.

shinshu-mars-zenkoji

What I say:

Another sample thanks to Bret @WhiskyJapan managing to secure a bottle of this for us to try despite being released in Japan.

Colour:

Dark amber gold (12/20) numerous thick legs with some slow tears

Nose:

Very woody, tannic, brown sugar, savoury, rubber, fruity and spicy, five spice, I made the note here ‘like walking into a Chinese supermarket’, ginger, plum, pine wood and cherries

Taste:

Fruity, plums, red fruits, cherry, rubbery – sherry-like, coconut, chocolate, five spice, cinnamon, ginger, toffee, oak wood, dates, rum and raisin.

Finish:

Medium-long cherry menthol cough sweets

Overall:

Just a beautifully spiced and fragrant oriental expression. There is a mixture here that I associate so much with cookery, savoury plum and cherry sauces (with duck for example). and that heady mix of spices. A shame these expressions are not more widely available.

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