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The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve

(70cl, 43%)

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve
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Yamazaki Reserve Bottling Note

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.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

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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Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve Reviews

A smooth option

Smooth and fruity, with a delicious depth and pleasant warmth. A great easy drinker

31st October 2020


Wasn’t blown away, but certainly had depth and warmth. Worth a second endeavour.

10th August 2020

Exceptionally Delicate Pickled Plum in a dram.

Got my bottle from the Yamazaki distillery for about 50USD. Its pretty great at the price point better than many scotch whiskys I've had. It's a smooth, easy drink that's great drinking for a chill evening among friends.

N: Opens with a strong dried and pickled plum. the tartness of the umeboshi is captivating but opens up to memories of faint honey and bits of sandalwood.

P: the delicate harmony of the water and flavors gives you a very pleasant experience. Very light on the mouth, but the flavor of dried berries slowly coats the tongue, opening to some oak and pears. Maybe some pepper at the end.

F: Starts with some mild scents of vegetation, much less pronounced than the Hakushu NAS. A mild honey-like sweetness stays with some pear and some cinnamon. The only letdown is that the finish does not last very long.

Overall an exceptional whisky from the home of Japanese whisky!

1st February 2020

Pricy for quality

this is about the same quality as J&B scotch but less Scottish peat moss taste.

25th January 2020

Live In The Now.

Lots of reviewers comparing this to the 12 year old which is a bit unfair. That’s now become too expensive and hard to get hold of for ordinary mortals and it is superb. This is tasty and complex with a great mouth feel and elements of citrus and berries, nothing like a cheap blend. Is it overpriced? Yes, probably, but isn’t all single malt now? Put away preconceptions and forget about age statements, this is an extremely nice whisky which is well worth trying.

23rd November 2019

I’d go another.

Sweet fruits all day. Very easy and enjoyable. It’s not even close to the 12, which is an incredible whisky, but the hate I see in the reviews is unwarranted. If you are thinking of buying it, give it a go. You might not love it, but you won’t hate it.

18th October 2019

Not worth it.

Many cheap blends are far better.

7th September 2019

Super smooth vanilla

The vanilla and sweet cinnamon ate unmistakable in the finish. I've tasted quite a few single malts but this one puts a smile on your face, hands down.

21st July 2019

Probably not worth the price

I remember buying this a couple of years ago, it was slightly mellow, almost spicy and a little underwhelming, but was almost half the price it is now..what happened?!

20th June 2019

A very pleasant whisky

This is a very pleasant whisky: smooth, drinkable and very nearly excellent (except for just something in the aftertaste that doesn't feel quite on target). However, I would always be happy to drink this, and it impressed me.

13th December 2018

Great Price, a must in the collection

Great Whisky, and beats most other whisky in the market at this price.
You must have this in your collection

13th November 2018

Overpriced dissapointment

Dull taste. High price. No finish. Over-hyped and disappointing.

8th June 2018


Delicious! sugared red fruits and sweet with a morish, cinnamon, aromatic depth.

5th May 2018

Good for beginners. i know cos i am a beginner

I am not a whisky expert but i really love the taste. The experience i had i would describe as very comfortable like being snug under a blanket on a cold rainy day. i sip this with my friend through the night and just enjoyed the flavors. That being said, it is more expensive and i feel that for that price, you could get a better whisky. i am not saying this because of the no age but rather, i think you can get more from other scotch for that price. But if you have it in your vault already, its really enjoyable.

27th April 2018

Yamazaki Tutorial

This is a terrible Yamazaki. Very young, unsherried, no finish. The Yamazaki 12 is slightly better. The new Hibiki NAS "Harmony" is still better and a better value than the Yamazaki 12. The Limited Edition Yamazakis brought out each year are good value and an excellent every day dram. The Yamazaki 18 is a very good sherry bomb, unfortunately insanely over-priced. Yamazaki Sherry Cask is one of great bottles, difficult to obtain. The Yamazaki 25 is in a world of it's own and bears no relation to any of the others. It is one of the greatest whisky expressions ever created.

26th April 2018

Very Nice

First time and I like it - fresh but not thin and a sweet depth to it. I know I like a whisky when I can't stop smelling the empty glass!

22nd April 2018

Unworthy of al the hype over Yamazaki

I can’t believe all these commenters who are fawning over this particular reserve. Are they for real? This whisky is nonsensical for its price and unworthy of all the hype that Yamazaki or singke malts have been getting. It’s so coarse it’s doesn’t seem very far removed from lab-grade alcohol. The distiller should never have released this (or do they take their customers for fools?). Disappointment.

1st April 2018

Japanese Yamasaki better than one made somewhere .

My friend brought bottle of this from Japan in 2014-2015 and wes so good. And I haven’t tried anything better since.

25th January 2018


Nice. I like some vanilla and this has the goods.

30th December 2017

Yamazaki Distiller's Reserve

Stands against Glenfiddich 12 in it's similarities. I think this is nicer, but I'm not sure if that's worth the price difference.

18th December 2017

Can't Wait

Recommended by my friend.

6th October 2017

Not the Best, but No means the Worst

As as good as the hype would have you believe. It's still a very good whisky and something i would buy again. But i did not get much of the fruity tastes i expected. you can taste a faint trace of coconut, but only if you look real hard for it.

16th August 2017


If this is "far cry of Yamazaki 12" as some describe it, then Yamazaki 12 well better be the nectar of gods. This one is amazing. If you try it in proper tasting glass, it's worth its price for the nose alone. Brilliant balance of fruit, nuts and oak (fruits are more apparent). Palate is sweet, a bit spicy with a little burn, but nothing to spoil the pleasure. Finish is long and smooth, with pleasant spice at the end. Truly delicious and definitely on the list of my favourites now.

26th July 2017

I will love to have this.

Recommended by my friend.

21st June 2017


rather disappointing. can't really taste what I should, it is rather flat with alcohol and oak, doesn't really improve with water, with (melting) ice dilutes too much. it just zastes like a cheap whisky. suntory is generally overpriced, this one especially. a 12yo glenfiddich for 30€ is better, and this is not a compliment. think, I will buy soda and try highballing it, which normally not my way of drinking whisky.

3rd June 2017

Overrated Yamasaki

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

Good Job!

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

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - NAS

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

No year mentioned

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

Like a Yamazaki 12 but really rough around the edges.

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.

2nd August 2016

Rajiv jaggi

An amazing whiskey with better essence and smoothnes to the skylimits

15th July 2016

Just delicious

Very subtle beautiful flavors and the cedar/sandalwood note really flips my switch.

17th June 2016


Nose: Violet, Cookie dough, fruit, malt and salty
Palate: licorice, violet candy, spicy, a little seasalt
I'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 salty
Palate: licorice, violet candy, spicy, a little seasalt
I'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.

25th May 2016


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

Can we stop kidding ourselves?

Look, Yamazaki makes some amazing whiskey. This is not one of them.

6th May 2016

Barely drinkable

Have tried NAS from Yoichi, Taketsuru, Miyagikyo and this one. I like this one the least. Def for highball

3rd May 2016


Great Whiskey.

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

Ms kartini tjandra


1st April 2016


Great whisky - nice sherry and complexity

31st March 2016

Worst Yamazaki I had Yet

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

Pull your head out of your Hind Quarters

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

Bought a bottle of this candy

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

A Very Nice Whisky

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

An amazing whiskey

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

New to whisky

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

Good bang for buck

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

13th August 2015

this is the one

Extremely smooth yet deep, rich aromas. Very good and the price is right.

11th August 2015

phenomenal whisky

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

Stunningly good!

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

Depressingly good whisky!

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

Marvellous stuff

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

spot on

Beautiful, seriously good drop
That 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

Growing on me steadily

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

Showing off. . .

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

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