Akashi Japanese single malt whisky (White Oak Distillery)

White Oak.jpg

Recommended use: Serve neat/ mixed with ice and sparkling water/ with Japanese food 

Malt Mileage Rating: (4/6) ★★★★ 

Type: Japanese single malt whisky 

Origin: Japan

ABV: 46%

Price: US$80 / AU$120 / £50

1. The whisky

The city of Akashi in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan is the home of the Akashi distillery, which obtained its distillery licence in 1919 (four years before Yamazaki was built). It was founded by Eigashima Shuzo in 1888 to produce sake, and in 1984 the White Oak Distillery was created.

This particular expression by the White Oak Distillery is a single malt whisky. It is a no age statement whisky which is a blend of 7 year old, 5 year old and four year old malt whiskies which have been drawn from three types of oak cask.

2. Tasting notes

The nose is sweet and fruity, with malty and umami notes alongside the fruity and fermented aroma of (unsurprisingly) sake and shochu. Find candied plum, cooked apple, vanilla, oodles of honey, demerara sugar, and in the distance sits very dark chocolate with sweet brandied prune. On the palate the fermented and fruity sake notes shine, followed by the malt, sliced green apple, vanilla, honey and soft yuzu and cucumber. A gentle smoke sits over these flavours, then fades. The finish is winy and port-like, with dark chocolate, orange peel, prune, baklava and dates. Despite the fiery entry, the flavours smooth out into a delicious and quite unique Japanese whisky.

3. Conclusions

Akashi White Oak single malt Japanese whisky is a serious Japanese whisky that seems to marry very Japanese umami flavours with an array of flavours from different oak casks. It is a very malty whisky with soft rounded fruity notes and lots of oak driven sugars; unique, interesting, pleasant and one for the explorative whisky lover. Give me a large plate of fresh sashimi, salted edamame and a bottle of Akashi White Oak single malt and I will be a happy man. On that note, I would recommend this whisky only for people who enjoy the flavours of Japanese food and sake. 

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