Whiskey Review: Fujikai 10 Years Old

Category: Japanese single malt whisky

Origin: Monde Shuzo Distillery

Bottling: Les Whiskies Du Monde

ABV: 43%

Cost: £49.95 from Master of Malt

fujikai-10-year-old-whisky

What they say:

A 10 year old Japanese whisky from Monde Shuzo, released in partnership with Whiskies du Monde. Fujikai takes its name from the fact that Monde Shuzo, a winery that also produces the Isawa whiskies, is located at the base of Mount Fuji in what was the Kai Province (Kai-no-kuni). Limited to 8,808 bottles and matured in bourbon casks, it’s unclear exactly when this whisky was distilled.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose:

Vegetal and musky, thyme, iodine, acetone, a hint of vanilla and shochu.

Palate:

Peat, geranium leaf, dried herbs, green apple and walnut.

Finish:

Drying with some dark spices.

Overall:

Unique and a little sharp in places, but bound to sell out fairly quickly.

What I say:

A new whisky from Japan, a single malt too, suddenly appeared at 10 years old on the market just after Japanese whisky was sweeping the awards as the best whisky in the world…

No wonder people went out in droves to snap this bottle up, it has become legendary since as proof that not all whisky from Japan is great. In fact not all whisky from Japan is actually from Japan! Whisky bought in bulk from anywhere else in the world and then released from duty/bond in Japan becomes Japanese whisky. My guess is that this Fujikai may not even be originally from Japan. Regardless it was matured in ex-Bourbon barrels apparently at Monde Shuzo and imported/bottled by French company Les Whiskies Du Monde.

Colour:

Umbrous gold (12/20) large oily tears leave finer legs

Nose:

Plastic pencil case, cheap shoe shops, plastic, shoe polish, patent leather, funky green and mossy, herbal and vegetal, menthol & eucalyptus, quite synthetic – I guessed at first this was Canadian corn whisky matured in Japan so maybe the ‘single malt’ on the bottle was a mistake?

Taste:

Green vegetables, seaweed, cucumber, shoe polish, wintergreen, fermented, hints of bourbon/rye whiskey character, harshly aged in a very old & woody cask, herbal.

Finish:

Medium-long, sweet, menthol crystals and eucalyptus oil, molten plastic

Overall:

Very unusual, quite a harsh maturation really hasn’t done this whisky any favours. My tasting buddy described it as what he though Space moonshine might taste like, e.g. if humans ever reached Mars and really wanted a drink to celebrate but only had left over rocket fuel to distill and mature – then this is pretty much what they would be drinking!

Score: 39/100

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