Yamazaki Sherry Cask

It’s a very dreary Friday afternoon here at MoM towers. We’ve gone from a horrid frost at the beginning of the week to a grim, drizzly day today, and we’re in desperate need of a little cheering up! Luckily we have just the thing! A consignment of the new – well ok, not that new – Yamazaki Sherry Cask – a beautifully dark whisky limited to 16,000 bottles worldwide.

Sherry Cask was launched in late 2009, and although there have been sherry matured whiskies from Yamazaki before, this has a higher outturn and is slightly more youthful – it being made of whiskies of around 12 to 15 years of age.

Yamazaki was Japan’s first whisky distillery, and the first cask ever to be filled was a sherry cask. To this day, Spanish oak is specially selected from northern Spain, before the local coopers turn them into giant, 500 litre butts. They are then taken to Jerez in southern Spain for a three year seasoning with rich Oloroso sherry.

When used for whisky ageing, these barrels impart exquisite sweet and spicy flavours and, when it’s at its most intense, the result can be mouth-puckering and tangy – perhaps this is what lies in store for us today!

Let’s give it a go…

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 48%

Nose: Quite sweet, but very “deep”. Has great maturity, even at what is a comparatively young age. It feels juicy and opens up with bitter dark chocolate and hot buttery pastries. Then mouth-watering Sumatran coffee and prunes.

Palate: Tos and fros between the warming sweetness of spicy chocolate and figs and the puckering, tangy edge of juicy plums and prunes. Bitter sweet cocoa develops with soft leather and a dash of black pepper.

Finish: Very long – just builds and builds with the most intense back bone of deep, musty fruits, then we’re onto star anise and plum jam.

Comment: May have to sneak the bottle out before anyone sees!

Some of the previous Yamazaki sherry casks have been a little out of reach due to their slightly – though not undeservedly – high price tags. The increased outturn of this new expression has brought the price down to a more palatable £56.95.

Worth every penny…


– The Chaps at Master of Malt –