These new bottles may be classed as single malts because they’re from a single distillery but actually represent a blend of 3 different expressions from Yamazaki. The Distiller’s Reserve is a no-age-statement blend of a wine cask expression, a sherry cask expression (which Jim clearly loves) and a mizunara cask expression (i.e. Japanese oak). The ages of each ingredient varies but is believed to be somewhere between 8-10 for the sherry and mizunara casks, and anywhere up to 18-20 for the wine cask. With an unfavourable introduction to Yamazaki but the promise of something new and a lot of flavours (including an award winning component) the WU boys were intrigued to try this out…
M: Clean, slight fruit, vanilla, a little alcoholic burn and a little oak.
S: *prickles nose* – very sting-y. Pine and citrus notes with some underlying vanilla.
M: Sweet, strawberries and a light sherry finish.
S: Tastes like strawberry cheesecake…Sherry comes through along with an oakiness.
M: Almost a grain-like finish, with red fruits but it all disappears too quickly.
S: Disappointingly weak…some embers to help warm you up but not much.
M: The three different whiskies that make up this dram are all present in its taste and are nicely balanced. It might just be my preference (or because I bought it) but I quite like this Yamo – particularly more than the other lads – and I could spend a while with this dram enjoying the different flavours, if they didn’t end too soon.
S: A decent dram, but unimpressed with this “triple maturation” process and a £40+ price tag. Enough positives though to recommend it.
J: Couldn’t really find too much to write home about here. Its a fairly sweet whisky, but its not really blowing my mind.