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This 12 year old from Yamazaki first came onto the market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky.
Nose: Good body with plenty of nut oils and zest, a pleasant floral character with a little tropical fruit and a rooty note.
Palate: Smooth and soft with good sweetness and winter spice. A lovely citrus note develops with more tropical fruit notes and a little rum.
Finish: Medium with fruit and zest.
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Lived next to distillery
15th March 2017
11th March 2017
Had a bottle of this a few years ago at a much more reasonable price and thought it was good.Now, I've been lucky enough to have been given another and thought I'd review it...If it cost the same as some standard issue Scottish 10-14 year old whiskies then I would say it's decent offering but for me it's no way near as good as the much more subtle yet elegantly satisfying Hakushu Distiller's Reserve. Good appealing nose, nice unimposing, sightly sweet flavour but slightly too much burn and nothing particularly interesting coming through.To me, it's overpriced fairly decent generic whisky.
22nd February 2017
Most beautiful whisky
25th December 2016
Excellent and smooth whiskey. Definitely one of my favorites. Wish one day I'll get a chance to try the 18yr & the sherry cask!!
19th November 2016
Japansk single malt som luktar citrus, blommig karaktär av det bättre slaget, sälta samt lätt doft av tropiska frukter.I överlag måste jag säga att jag blev ganska besviken med tanke på vad jag tyckte om distiller’s reserve så förväntningarna var höga men helt klart godkänd doft i alla fall! (den här luktar mer åt det maltiga hållet)Smak: Blev chokad över hur spritig den var, inte det värsta jag känt men hade räknat med noll?! Kryddig i smaken och en ganska god eftersmak av tropiska frukter som dör av ganska snabbt. Blir diss på denna!
15th November 2016
Really is excellent. My wife searched for a bottle for me for quite some time before finally getting a bottle from Master of Malt. It's not in stock often and is hard to get any where else. There is a reason for that. Get a bottle when you can you won't be disappointed!!!!
28th October 2016
Sorry, forgot to include the rating in my first review. Tasted this at the distillery along with several Hakushu and the Yamazaki 18 and 35 year (and the of the dial Sherry Cask, which I did see for sale at several thousand dollars the bottle). The Yamazaki 12 year is the best single I can afford, not quite the complete package that the 18 year is. Some of my companions preferred The Hakushu 12 year. Even the distillery is no longer selling these, but I tracked some of both down in a larger outlet in Kyoto (who also had the aforementioned bottle of Sherry Cask), so worth searching if you want some at less than museum exhibit prices.
12th October 2016
Visited the Yamazaki distillery, tried a number of offerings including 35 year and the amazing Sherry cask. The 12 year is not quite the complete package that the 18 year is, but the best single malt I can afford. BTW at the time of writing you could no longer get the 12 year, even at the distillery, but I tracked down a few bottles at a larger outlet in Kyoto at a price I was ok with, brought them home along with a couple of The Hakushu 12 year, that some of my fellow tasters at the distillery felt was superior. Will do a bit of sampling once I'm over the jet lag.
Received as a birthday gift from my wife and I must say it is truly amazing one of the best i have tried
4th September 2016
I've had a chance to try a number of Suntory whiskies, Yamazaki 18 and 12 years old being among them, and, reluctantly, I have to say most of their expressions feature a slightly smoky palate with an incredibly oaky and dry finish. I had been expecting a more profound experience, but having tasted the 12 year old Yamazaki, I'm not sure it is capable of giving decent, oaky Scottish malts a run for their money. The price tag certainly makes me lean more towards bottlings such as the 12 YO Edradour or the 12 YO Cardhu.
23rd August 2016
The best, mmm love it, smooth, delicious, with charakter.
28th July 2016
This is truly a treat! Nose is off the charts. Fruit, caramel. Flavor is just as amazing. A must have.
25th July 2016
This is superb. Slowing going missing in the market thus high price. One of the best single malt. It is a vintage.
Nose: fruit, figs, almond, tropical fruitsTaste: subtle spice, Sweet, a tiny bite. Finish : medium & warmingAverage in my humble opinion since it's a very expensive comparatively
16th July 2016
Was worth it when I bought it for $60 US but at over $100 its tough to say that its worth it. But Yamazaki is through the roof so that's about right.
8th July 2016
This is almost double the price than distiller's reserve and you just have a touch of the good tastes that the reserve got. You feel the alcohol way to much, it's not even close to it's little brother!
25th May 2016
Fabulous single malt like music to your mind n soul smooth n delicious prefer it to the Yamazaki 18 years
21st May 2016
This is a very tasty whisky and is very smooth. It is easy to drink and its aroma is delicate and lovely. For those who are interested in a nice whisky that anyone can drink try this one.
21st April 2016
An absolutely mouth watering nose of creamy nuttiness and fruit medley. This carries on wonderfully onto the palate with a clear Bourbon influence which is also obvious on the nose. A lingering fruit and oaky finish wraps things up perfectly. There's no smoke or peat just fruit and spice akin to the aforementioned Bourbons it so closely resembles. This is a textbook Japanese Single Malt. The only downside is the price which is way too steep at present. Luckily I had mine for just £35 from a good friend which is an absolute steal.
20th April 2016
First off I'll say that I found this much cheaper than others on here so I went in to to it a lot more open minded and with lower expectations. This whisky is fantastic. The nose is very sweet, with strong vanilla coming through. It is a very light whisky, and really shines neat. The finish is strongly reminiscent of bourbon, reminding me of Blantons more than anything else. Overall if you can find this for a good price, it is definitely worth adding to your collection.
16th April 2016
It was a good drink but I paid for fiddich 21, livet 18, macca 18, signet. get my point. hype and overrated is getting the price to increase. Crazy price. If can cut price by 30 % would have been 5 stars.
5th April 2016
Super smooth absolutely relaxing with sweet taste just got a bottle from Barcelona airport am treasuring it as not in stock must buy n must try stunning
4th April 2016
Japaner lägger verkligen ned sin själ i vad de gör och det lönar sig. Häll upp ett glas och tillsätt 3 isbitar så vaknar whiskyn till och bjuder på en doftsensation som Skotsk whisky aldrig kan bjuda på. Skotsk whisky är ju helt död, oavsett vad du gör.
9th March 2016
Quite enjoyed it, but like others have said for the price it's nothing special. Depressingly I found a bottle in my local alcohol shop in Portugal...€179 or roughly £140!!! I wonder when this hype over Japanese whisky will end?
28th February 2016
This is training wheels for Scotch.
22nd February 2016
Very smooth, well balanced, & tasty!
3rd February 2016
Dropped in one small ice cube, swirreled for several seconds and removed the ice cube. The smell of ripe bananas exploded and the finish reminded me of artichoke petals dipped in butter.Lovely!
a whiskey to savour a very good flavour profile
8th January 2016
Acquired this after all hoopla exploded about Suntory's Yamazaki (mainly due to the Sherry cask version). I generally drink single-malt Scotch and straight Bourbon and, mainly because I am research before you buy person, I have generally had a wonderful journey through the world of whisky. I can honestly say, this was the first time I have felt let-down by a single malt. It's not that it's bad, it has an interesting and quite unique nose (which I think the MoM tasting notes are pretty on point about, though banana is the tropical fruit I think they are talking about) and the body is pretty full and substantial. That said, it isn't all that engaging and it feels muddled, with that banana stomping all over the short hints of sherry and citrus in the palate. That said, if you find the flavor profile interesting (and a lot of people do), then it would be easy to recommend at 40-50 dollars.Which brings us to price: even if I loved the profile, the execution is too muddled and fuzzy (almost blended-malt like) to be even remotely worth 80-100 dollars they are now charging for the 12. At 40 bucks it'd be reasonable, at 80+ it's just plain overpriced.
30th December 2015
Me and my boyfriend have Been looking all over for this stuff..He loves this ...finally found a vendor I'm Miami.. So I'm driving down there from coconut creek tomorrow to get it. I will get him some for Christmas.
15th December 2015
The best whisky i've tried. My rank is 1 pl is yamazaki, 2nd glenlivet12, 3rd is chivas regal 12
4th December 2015
Just so smooth. Such a shame it's so hard to find these days.
18th November 2015
tried a bottle I recently bought from m,Chester airport , I found it quite smooth and it seemed taste differently on each taste but I was disappointed when it had gone although I would be happy to buy @ 40-50 quid anything more I think I would prefer a lagavullin 16 which I thought was a touch smoother .
23rd September 2015
I have tried a lot of Japanese whiskies and this one is totally overrated i have to say. It is unfocused, to much taste of alcohol and you get the impression it is not 12 years old at all. There are some nice fruity and spicy notes but nothing comes together the way it should be in a 12 yo. If you wish to explore Japanese whisky go with Nikka taketsuru 17 or Hibiki 17. They are very different from this one but much better and much more well rounded. No point in spending so much money when you can get a good glenmorangie for half or 2/3s of the price. The 18yo is very interesting on the other hand, a bit pricy though.
13th September 2015
Looks like Scotch Whisky, smells like it, tastes like it, but...all characteristics have been elevated a notch. I found it to be more intense in every category. I really like it.
31st July 2015
This is the most enjoyable single malt I have ever had. Why can't I find it anywhere now???
29th June 2015
Im a single malt scotch junkie through and through. this whiskey is in a different category. and I dig it. the color is nice med light Amber and it leaves oily trails on the glass if you swirl it. the nose is citrus through and through with notes of a sweeter fruit. you'd almost expect it to be a sugary drink from the nose. the mouthfeel is surprisingly dry which I like. the finish is citrus. and tart and bitter and I mean that as a compliment. the flavor is subtle enough that if you enjoy it with different foods you might pick up different notes and flavors that you didn't notice before. my final verdict though is biased. as a stand alone whiskey I still prefer the unique taste of a peated scotch. but I've had peated scotch I like less than this excellent whiskey. cheers
28th June 2015
Had a sip in a bar and was hooked. expensive and difficult to find in the Philippines. found a dealer selling at equivalent of £65 and grabbed 2 bottles. I had the fortune of going to Jspan a few weeks later. Price there was equivalent to £42. I grabbed another one, the last one. even in Japan, they are hard to come by. I am going back in October and will probably get 2 or 3 more.
27th June 2015
Has a sweet flavor. This whiskey is more complex than any 12yr you can find. Step it up Scotland, you are falling behind
23rd May 2015
tried this today on one bar. Very good End up buying for my friends as well.Nice smell and tasteLoved it
I am just enjoying a first sip of this and think it is pretty good. I would say that I enjoy an 18 Glenfiddich, or even The Glenlivet 12...even a Macallan for the price. Will definitely try more Japanese Whisky, but I wouldn't say I am going to get another bottle of this stuff again.It's good, but it leaves me wanting more after each sip.
17th May 2015
Tried this one a couple of years ago and just didn't "get it". Nice whisky for sure, but tasted like a fairly standard/light Highland malt. Nothing for peat-heads obviously, but very understated generally. A good honest malt but not in a hurry to buy one even when it cost £35.
2nd May 2015
This is absolutely World class! It just couldent be better. Try it and enjoy Japanese perfection.If I were a Scot I´ll be worried....
29th April 2015
28th April 2015
Köpte som prov, då jag ledsnat på de lite tråkiga skottska. Sedan dess köper jag endast Japanskt. Japanerna håller en grymt hög klass som på det mesta det gör. De som inte provat Japanskt har inte druckit Whiskey (citat från min 91 årige far).
15th April 2015
Rich smokey smooth.
5th April 2015
Love this one. Perfect with chocolate.
30th March 2015
Palate palate, palate, zing top end register explosion of grapefruit and orange.
24th March 2015
We ate chocolate right before tasting this. So, we didn't get much citrus, we mostly got chocolate.
20th March 2015
Smooth and well rounded. Alcohol content is there but not over whelming. First shot OTR, but i am getting a little butterscotch on the back end. I have spent 6 months with JW Platinum, this is parallel or a little finer. Who would have thought "Booze Traveler" would accomplish anything? Well it has. Nice job to the show and especially the distillery.
27th February 2015
You guys weren't joking about the tropical notes... Bang on the money with that tasting note.
14th February 2015
first, I don't like the taste of Scotland scotch. Yamazaki has a flavor all its own. My daughter is in JET (Japanese assistant English teacher). She bought me home a bottle for Christmas since all her Japanese friends love it. Count me among them. Totally unique flavor, in no way scotch like. Fabulous taste, 2 shots = a nice buzz. She's definitely got to send me some more. If you haven't tasted this you're in for a big surprise. Who would have thought that anything besides good sake would come out of JApan ?
21st January 2015
I've been wanting to try this for a while after tasting their Hibiki blend (which is delicious btw). Everywhere seems to be sold out or too expensive. I recently found three bottles in my local Tesco Metro for £40 a pop. I bought one, tried it, loved it and went straight back to buy the other two.
20th January 2015
Lucky me, my brothers brother in law cracked open a Yamazaki he picked up in Tokyo on x'mas eve. I was shocked after my first sip. There was no biting taste, very tasty and fruity with a long spicy finish. I searched all over Chicago and the answer was the same, out of stock since before Thanksgiving thanks to all the publicity. On a lark, I visited my neighborhood dram shop and they had it in stock. More surprising was the actual price, 30-50% below internet price. Needless to say I happily bought their entire stock and that of their sister store in the suburbs.
4th January 2015
there aren't words to describe this whisky. complex but smooth, classy yet down to earth, beautiful and tasty. all I could think of was this really cute girl next door that we grew up with. very pretty yet smart and well grounded. if you call yourself a single malt whisky drinker, then you better find a bottle yesterday. I can't say enough about this amazing dram. someone here said stock up, and I agree because prices on this whisky will only go up. the easiest 10 rating I have given.
25th December 2014
Living in Tokyo, I became a fan of Suntory Scotch for its smoothness and non-biting flavor. Yamazaki was not marketed then and I can only go by my favorite Suntory Reserve which was considered the distillery's premier brand. I did not realize Suntory whiskeys were available in the U.S. and bought an equally good substitute that comes closest to it : Chivas Regal. Since Suntory acquired Jim Beam, they are readily available and I bought a bottle last week. An amazing whiskey.
17th December 2014
I tried the Yamazaki 12 year old yesterday .The Blend is so wonderful and the taste savours in your mouth all the while.Very Light and simply beautiful for an enjoiable evening..Great Invention...
8th December 2014
Totally agree with the reviewer saying it could pass for an 18. I'm *currently* sipping it right next to an Aberlour 18 at double the price and it's almost identical (*slightly* more light-white-fruit and less heavy-red-fruit than the Aberlour in flavor profile, but only slightly; maturity feels identical). I've got a Balvenie 12 nearby and it's significantly more rough and less flavorful, yet more expensive than the Yamazaki.
19th November 2014
Stockpiling as I write..this is a wonderful whisky
7th November 2014
I'm a big fan of premium (Single Malt Scotch Whisky), this could definitely pass for an 18 year bottle of the good stuff...
I am not a whisky drinker, and I bought the dram for my husband, but was then curious and had a sip. I actually liked it, and loved the fruity taste, the hint of almond and cinnamon. It had a nice "Christmas" flavour for my palate.
6th November 2014
As the title says, this is a wonderful malt whisky. I was surprised and disappointed when my wife bought me a bottle, until that is I tasted it. If you like whisky, you are going to love this.
3rd November 2014
A shame that it has risen by a tenner over the last couple of years... 25% increase.... really!?
27th October 2014
Great tasting and balanced whiskey. Very smooth. Definitely one of my favorite single malts
24th October 2014
I love it, hè is very soft, has his own taste and is one of THE greatest whisky's.
18th October 2014
There's absolutely nothing bad I can say about this one except it's maybe *too* flavorful. But even that...just marginally so. It *slightly* tastes more aperitif than a whisky should IMO, but maybe that's the future. The chocolate vaguely reminds me of the Bushmills 21 I once had, but more subtle. Me, I'll still take something a bit more malty like a Glen Grant or Old Pulteney. But this is still very good and worth a try.
9th July 2014
Loved it. Simple as that. Only one small negative, a bottle of malt is enjoyed before it is opened, so please don't put a cheap arse plastic top on it! This bottle is way too good and should have a cork to get that pop from opening.
30th April 2014
but i'm in no position for professional tasting notes. But is there anyone but me that get alittle maple hint on the nose?
15th March 2014
I can honestly say "I have never tasted a better malt than this 12year old".I've tasted a lot of whisky's in the last 40 years, some harsher, some not so harsh, Although not a connoisseur I know what I like, and this is it...
8th March 2014
nose is good but tastes bland to me my trip into jap whisky disappointing to say the least not a happy bunny.
14th January 2014
have purchased a 12 on recommendation of my wife and the staff in the Wine Shop - will be cracked open xmas eve i think - looking fwd.
21st December 2013
I bought this bottle a long time ago for a party, freshly opened i found this to taste very odd, it had a strong sweetness and taste of caramel and about an equally strong bitter tannin taste and this yielded some sort of flat taste curve of sorts. It didn't linger and you was left with just this dry tannin taste.Now, however, it has been in the shelf for a few months at about 70% of content left and i tried this again last night and i must say i was very positively surprised, It have developed a very nice round sweet taste with some sort of vanilla mixed with some fruity jelly candy tastes and the nose felt very developed with first having very much orange peel -citrus smell where after the same jelly candy smell came about after a while.Definitely one of my favorites now!
8th November 2013
6th November 2013
Nice Change flora through the nose with some more exotic tones. Tastes rather good warmth again flora notes some honey sweetness and citrus,Maybe nicer for the Money but nice stuff and worth a try.Personally prefer the redbreast to green spot and glenfarclaas to dalmorre but great thing whiskey something for everyone...
No whiskey cupboard should be without this Green Spot and Dalmore.If you haven't tried these..... you are a cowboy!
1st November 2013
This is a really really good drop.Great nose, good flavours citrus like and a very smooth jw blue eek finish..very good and 12 years old better than most double the age and the price a definite one to try in my book...
31st October 2013
Tried this recently at restaurant in SF and love the smooth refreshing taste. Hints of honey and vanilla. Nice to try something different apart from traditional single malts.
26th October 2013
Dats a nice drink
20th October 2013
This was the first whisky that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of single malts. Before this, I was in the obscure world of blends and the occasional Glenlivet and Glenfiddich 12. I've never looked back ever since. I've had the likes of many single malts throughout the years and The Yamazaki 12 is still on my top 3 favorites in the 12 year range.
8th September 2013
REAL GOOD NICK FLAVOR AND NOTES. LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT YOU DO NEXT. THANKS YOU
5th September 2013
Smooth it's ok, yamazaki 10 is much better and the 18 is the best I've ever had, would not buy a bottle of 12 again
6th August 2013
Is it very nice whisky in around single malt ..it testy very good bit a sweetness .you can find out in kualulampor..Daikanyama
22nd July 2013
I purchase one just for tge fun of it because its japanese. But with all honesty this is one of those whisky thats hard not to RECOMEND who likes a fine drink. i mean very very fine whisky. You can call me biased but the yamazaki is one of the best whisky i ever tasted.
20th July 2013
Hi there, at the moment we are unfortunately unable to ship to Argentina, due to UK aviation regulations. However, we are working hard to find a solution, so do check our delivery page! --The Chaps at Master of Malt
24th June 2013
Hi made shipments to Argentina. Regards Thanks
23rd June 2013
I was given a bottle of this for my birthday last week and I must say it it probably amongst the best malts I have EVER had the pleasure to enjoy.Get over your parochial prejudice and give it a try . . . you won't be disappointed.
11th June 2013
Smooth is the word. And adding water, is a must to bring out the smells and taste. I recommend about 30-40% which is a tad more than for most.The only objection is that it is a whisky intended for the broad audience and so the experience is a bit, well average. Then again my taste is for the somewhat more smokey and with a tad more oomph. It is a bit on the sweet side in my view. Then again you cannot go wrong serving Yamazaki to your guests after your finer dinner though.
31st May 2013
I picked up a bottle of this because it looked different. Couldn't have been happier I did! I will say (from my experience), adding a drop of water really adds to this. It settles it down and allows the smells and taste to develop. Try it and let me know!
13th May 2013
Smooth dram and very interesting experience from Japan.Arigato Gozaimashita!
1st May 2013
I had a lot of expectations from this whisky, my gf got me a bottle for Christmas,it turned out I was mostly disappointed. The nose is really great,and there are some interesting notes but I found the palate very unrefined and with poor balance. A rough aftertaste that I did not appreciate at all. Did not taste smooth at all imo. Anyway I'll try to give another shot at Yamazaki with the 18 yo.
17th January 2013
Lovely smooth 12 yr old. Excellent finish, but have I gone mad. Dentist like numbness to follow.
16th January 2013
I found this is taste rather unrefined and very disappointing.If you love a good single malt, this certainly isn't one.Go for Aberfeldy 12 which is both cheaper and better than this one.
15th December 2012
The French and Italians didn't invent wine but became very famous for it, I suspect the same is happening with Japanese whisky.The Yamazaki 12yo is very smooth and robust with spicy dried fruit and creme brulee on the palate.Nikka whisky's Yoichi and Hibiki 12yo are very nice if you can find them.
31st January 2012
This Japanese whisky is so smooth, with a hint of golden sweetness...Very nice !
23rd January 2012
what a wonderfull whisky. great on the nose and pallett, very moorish. cant rate this fine drop enough. so put your hand in your pocket and get some, you wont be disapointed.
27th September 2011
tried this whisky at a wedding i attended without ever hearing of it.. and i must so i love it.. will be purchasing a bottle after pay day.. worth £4.50 a shot that im paying currently
12th June 2011
can't go wrong with this one - will be trying the other japanese brands soon
13th April 2011
Tried this at Chisou (Japanese restaurant in London) - it is the only whiskey they stock and for good reason. It is incredibly smooth and delicious.
25th March 2011
i forgot to add the pretty little stars. Have 5 its lovely.
19th March 2011
It tastes much differnt than with ice from the spar than from ice from my mums house. other than that its a lovely rich flavour.
Phenomenal! A great whiskey for the price. I like it as much as the Yamazaki 18, but it is quite a bit cheaper. Buy a bottle and you will know why the Japanese whiskeys are doing so well at international awards. Just so I don't sound biased towards Japanese whiskeys, I am drinking a dram of Highland Park 18 right now and enjoying it thoroughly.
17th February 2011