Japan Blended

Yamazakura 963 21 Years Old (58%, OB, 2018)

Yamazakura 963 21 Years Old

Whisky Review

  • Category: Blended Japanese whisky
  • Origin: Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery
  • Bottling: Official
  • ABV: 58%
  • Cost: £334.22

What they say

You won’t find this bottle anywhere else online!  For the first time offered outside of Japan, we’re offering a highly limited Yamazakura release. This whisky began it’s journey at the historic Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery in Japan where each of the components in this top tier blended whisky were aged at least 21 years. The whisky is meticulously blended using a combination of single malt and grain whisky. Bottled at 58.00%, you’ll enjoy the mellow fragrance and complex flavor of this great bottle. These are sure to sell out quickly, get one while it lasts!

Official tasting notes:

Sasanokawa Shuzo Company Limited has started whisky production in 1946. The 8th company head, Tetsuzo Yamaguchi, who made suggestion on whisky production and obtained whisky production license, served as the initial president of Fukushima-KenNan-Syuhan Limited 3 years later. Enthusiastic feelings of the 8th company head Tetsuzo Yamaguchi and both companies are packed in the whisky manufactured by the Sasanokawa Shuzo with traditional technique upon planning by taking advantage of Fukushima-KenNan-Syuhan Limited’s network. This whisky, carefully blending the malt whisky which is strictly selected from various malt whiskies with the grain whisky which is aged for a long time, is aged slowly and thoroughly in wooden casks. Please enjoy the condensed mellow fragrance and the complex flavour.

What I say

Sampled during the #DekantaWhisky tweet tasting, celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Dekanta, specialist Japanese whisky retailers and hosted by Steve Rush @thewhiskywire.

This Yamazakura 963 blend has been distilled at Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery, both malt and grain components so represents a ‘single blend’ similar to that produced at Loch Lomond distillery in Scotland. Offered in a variety of expressions including ‘red label’,’fine’, 8 year old, Mizunara Wood Finish and 17 year old, this 21 must represent somewhere near if not the pinnacle of maturation for this blend.

Matured for a minimum of 21 years in what I assume must be a good proportion of ex-sherry casks based on the colour and flavour profile.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Dark bronze (13/20), quick, medium tears leave long, fine legs.
  • Nose: Waxed oak wood, cumin spice and pink peppercorns, something fruity, kumquat & raspberry, quite fresh and floral, rosewater & toasted flaked almonds, wood and leather tannins suggest cocoa powder and a dusting of cinnamon & nutmeg
  • Taste: Fresh berry fruits; raspberry and strawberry, hints of cherry lips and strawberry laces, quite sweet and jammy, polished wood, chocolate and toffee, chocolate covered hazelnuts or almonds and raisins dusted with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon sticks
  • Finish: Long, gentle tannins leather and tea and woody spices

Overall

A delicious expression that has a great mixture of flavours, a classically balanced blend that displays its maturity and age very well. A pleasure to be even drinking Japanese whisky of this age these days!

Score 90/100

Shop for Yamazakura 963 21 Year Old (opens Dekanta)

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