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Released in Spring 2014, this is one of two Distiller's Reserve single malt whiskies from Suntory in Japan. This single malt from the Yamazaki distillery is jam-packed with superb red berry notes, gained from the whisky being matured in Bordeaux wine casks and Sherry casks. It also features malt matured in Mizunara casks, adding subtle fragrant oak notes.
Nose: Classic Yamazaki strawberries and dried fruits with floral notes coming from the Mizunara cask whisky. Fragrant sandalwood and maybe coconut. Certainly a whisky where you could get lost in its nose!
Palate: The dried berries remain lively on the palate (it even develops some raspberry notes along the way), but they're dialled back a bit to make room for light oak, white peach and a small amount of spice.
Finish: Vanilla lasts and lasts, with spicy but sweet cinnamon acting as a final flourish.
Overall: Top quality Japanese whisky, and excellent value too. Can't go wrong with this, really.
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Strong alcohol smell, by added water & lift out the alcohol a very young whiskey . Sweet pear flavor, fresh not too long lasting end note.
29th January 2017
Is the only version of Yamazaki that I have tried, and one of the best single malts I ever tasted, behind from the discontinued Miyagikyo 10, and with a place among the places where are Glengoyne, Arran, Glendronach, etc. This yamazaki has a good malt taste, complemented with several flavors that I'm not able to distinguish but is delicious and with a medium finish and a bit of effervescence that I love. Good job Yamazaki.
25th November 2016
No "aged 12 years" on the box, so this is the replacement NAS.There are some tasting notes on the box and kinda get a bit of that, however I also have a small amount of the 12yo from a few years ago, and there is much difference in nose and taste. The age statement bottle has some very heady notes as if there where sherry barrels in the mix. Those notes are missing from the NAS. So I agree with the other comments - it is not comparable to the 12 yo.
16th November 2016
Just got one and have to say very nice
23rd October 2016
I have never tried the Yamazaki 12, but if people say its better than this one then...HOLY COW! the 12 must be amazing, because I really think this is a quality quality whisky.Love the sweet nose and very fruity palate. Absolutely lovely palate actually. Finish is decent, wait...what am I saying, the finish is excellent and very spicy. Very nice.
3rd August 2016
One of the best
2nd August 2016
I was excited to try this as I found a healthy supply at my local. It's nowhere near as smooth and balanced as the 12. Not bad for the money, but for a little bit more, the Yamazaki 12 is certainly worth the extra money.
An amazing whiskey with better essence and smoothnes to the skylimits
15th July 2016
Very subtle beautiful flavors and the cedar/sandalwood note really flips my switch.
17th June 2016
Nose: Violet, Cookie dough, fruit, malt and saltyPalate: licorice, violet candy, spicy, a little seasaltI'm in love! Forgot to add that I've tasted this in february, the falvour may have changed?
25th May 2016
Nose: Violet, Cookie dough, fruit, malt and saltyPalate: licorice, violet candy, spicy, a little seasaltI'm in love!The Yamazaki 12 year old on the other hand? there's no way I would buy that again over this!You feel the alcohol to much on the 12 year for some odd kind? and it's not even near as tasy as these others are.
Yamazaki makes great whisky, this is not one. Haven't tried it in a high ball yet but I feel it may be what I resort too. A far cry from the 12 and 18 year
17th May 2016
Look, Yamazaki makes some amazing whiskey. This is not one of them.
6th May 2016
Have tried NAS from Yoichi, Taketsuru, Miyagikyo and this one. I like this one the least. Def for highball
3rd May 2016
26th April 2016
To me, a 9-10 rating would categorize a whiskey as "classic" and 7-8 as "excellent". While this is a great whiskey, I can not and will not classify this as classic. I will say that the description is relatively accurate in terms of flavor profile, but could be a bit misleading. This is a very smooth drink and the layers of flavor are very subtle. The oak dominates the palate and I would describe the berry component as gentle not "lively".
5th April 2016
1st April 2016
Great whisky - nice sherry and complexity
31st March 2016
I have had the 12 and 18 and this one is very disappointing
18th March 2016
Very good and high quality whisky
4th March 2016
It's good for the price but it's only relative in taste. There is more psychology behind the nose and palate. Everyone is hopping on the bandwagon putting his/her nose further up the rear of the person who commented before them. It's a good solid dram but nothing near amazing. The Yama 12 is far more complex to me but a good friend of mine from Japan just chuckles when I talk about it. She says there is stuff out there that even Jim Murray himself can't grasp. Heavy!!!
19th February 2016
So fucking good!
17th February 2016
So smooth. So silky and loads going on.
14th February 2016
French, Japanese and Spanish oak makes a subtle, fruity and quite a complex dram
3rd February 2016
When we have such great whiskys here from Scotland or Ireland, I don't tend to drink whiskys from abroad. This one was recommended by a friend.I was actually taken back by how good this whisky is.Very spicy, refreshing yet smooth whisky that leaves a sweet trace of fruit on the palate coupled with the complexity of spices which leaves a very satisfying taste that lingers.A very good whisky. If you don't normally venture for whiskys from around the world, then I would recommend trying this one, it is a very good dram.
4th January 2016
I don't know anything about whiskey. we went to Japan in 2014 to visit my wife Family. in our flight to come back in USA we went to the duty free and bought this whiskey. Few days later we try it and I was like wouaaa this is very good!!! I didn't that Japan was so good in Whiskey. The funny thing is that this whiskey was elected whiskey of the yer 2014.
23rd December 2015
I'm new to whisky and just discovering what I like. On hearing a look about Japanese whisky I had to try one. And I seem to have tried the right one too. Great price and what a taste. Seem to be the one I'm judging all other whisky so by. Love the flavour just keeps on giving. Although There are a lot more wiskys to try.
5th November 2015
The one bad thing about Japanese whiskies is they're all becoming cost prohibitive. This is almost as good as the Yamazaki 12yo but 3/4 the price.The tasting notes listed at the top are pretty accurate (I smelt cherries as well though - yum!)The finish, while clean & crisp like many Japanese whiskies, is maybe a bit more "spicy" than what I'd like but I assume that's because it's younger whisky.Good value if you can't afford a Hibiki 12/17yo or Yamazaki 12yo.
3rd October 2015
This is one of the most commonly used whiskies in Japan for highballs. Nothing special on its own but nice as a highball on a hot summers day.
13th September 2015
Simply an amazing whisky. Please add a few drops of water or a small ice cube. It is transformative....wow.
13th August 2015
Extremely smooth yet deep, rich aromas. Very good and the price is right.
11th August 2015
better than I expected it to be. Just by hearing what was in this bottle had me excited enough to be underwhelmed but I was still blown away by the complexity in flavor, and amazingly smooth finish. For the price this is a steal
19th June 2015
12th June 2015
Thought I'd made a huge mistake with first few glasses as this really packs a full punch.. However for the first time ever I added a few drops of water and wow! Blew my palate with how it opened up a whirl of complex tastes - this is seriously good malt whisky which has opened my eyes to a whole new world of options, and my glass to those few drops of water I never thought would ever touch the sides of my whisky glasses.....
15th May 2015
I received a bottle of this from my son for Christmas.Giving me, a Jock, a Japanese whisky? Obviously taking the piss! That evening, after enjoying a Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie I said "Lets try your Yamazaki" or words to that effect.Well, there's no point denying it, this is a seriously good whisky.The richness and complexity blows my staple diet to smithereens!Now I'm no expert, but I did not detected a hint of "strawberries", "rasperries" and definately not "coconut" though there is a smooth sweetness there, and this is certainly a bloody good whisky.Thankfully the balance of the universe was restored when I opened my single cask, first oak filled, 30 year old MacAllan. WOW! Another world.
15th January 2015
I'm a big fan of Japanese whisky. I first tried this at the Yamazaki distillery just outside Kyoto. It would seem it is replacing the 10 and 12 year olds which is fine by me. It's better than both of them. My only problem is that it costs nearly twice as much here as it does in Japan!
12th January 2015
This is a must have... For 70 US, it's worth every penny... Thank God I got this before they sold out, just wish I bought more. This actually compares to some of the 150 plus dollar a bottle malts I've had over the years. Each glass seems to have varied notes and seem to get better with each glass.
13th December 2014
Wanted to try the Yamazaki 12. Asked a friend to get this from Singapore (since it's not easily available in Dubai) and what he got me was the Distiller's Reserve. Having tried the 12 before, this one came across as a very pleasant surprise. It is rich and textured, quite deep as a single malt and its fruitiness and redolence of varied casks comes across post a couple of tastings. Which makes it quite layered. Especially loved the finish of this, which is exquisite in its mouthfeel. Small tip: It actually tastes better with a single small ice cube and around 4-5 small splashes of cold water. Enjoy this if you love a deep, rich whiskey. Slainthe, Shantesh
23rd November 2014
Beautiful, seriously good dropThat nose is inticing.With each swallow,follows a smile.Hardest part is saying goodnight to it.Great value, Steve Mcgiff st. Ives cornwall
1st November 2014
A gift from a friend & my first Japanese whisky and my first impression was nice and smooth but something missing at the heart of it. Repeated tastings however have me more and more intrigued. I like a dram that keeps up the surprises. Incredibly well balanced and one of the smoothest malts I've had.
29th September 2014
put a bottle of this out at my wedding after picking it up at sainsburys for around £40. it was one I the most popular whiskys by far with loads of people asking me the next day to remind them what it was.Nice fruity flavours with a good finish. I've gone and bought myself a bottle as there was none left after the wedding!
27th June 2014
Picked this up in sainsbury's of all places for £42 (not even on offer). It really is tasty and great value for the money. My first experience of Japanese whisky, and at this rate definitely not my last. As it happened they also had the hakashu distiller's reserve so might have to give that a go as well as I am a fan of a bit of smoke!
17th May 2014
I had a glass of this over the weekend. The best whisky in its price bracket, it's soft on the palette, complex, silky. Those who love the Hibiki range should jump on this . . .
14th April 2014