Japanese Blended Whisky
But is it Japanese?
A week ago I celebrated my birthday. Although I think celebration is a very large word in this context, since I no longer like to organize a party with a lot of people coming over etc. But, getting older is something that we 're expected to celebrate, so I did it in a way I would enjoy it the most: I organized a small whisky tasting.
Expecting no gifts, since it was a friendly bring your own bottle if you want to whisky gathering with some friends, I was set for a great evening. That evening I openend the Pinwinnie bottle in a sort of celebration, but also this bottle. An unexpected guest to the tasting in the form of a birthday gift from one of my visiting friends. Knowing I like different bottles, he tried to find me a bottle I never had. And succeeded.
After gifting we immediately openend it and added it to our small whisky event, which ended up being a "Let's try everything Singlemaltsnob has open in his little cabinet", rather than a tasting of a select range.
Concluding: A birthday party
But I'll return to this whisky. Next to the fact that I liked it, I knew almost nothing about it. The hunt for information started and immediately turned into a small mystery. And you know I like those!
A Dutch seller had quite a description online: Togouchi was made by the Chogoku Jozo firm by mixing Canadian grain whisky and Scottish malt whisky. But because it was blended and aged in Japan, it was called a Japanese Blended Whisky. I'm using the past tense here, because when I googled "Chogoku Jozo", new information seemed to alter that description.
The search term automatically changed the "Chogoku Jozo" into a link to the Sakurao Distillery in Japan.
A distillery that produces different types of gin and whisky. They have a whole range of product and their blends are a range on its own.
This distillery also produces a single malt whisky and even has a single malt under the Togouchi name.
Fun fact about this distillery: Near the distillery is an unfinished abandoned train tunnel that is being used to store the barrels for aging. The tunnel apparently create the perfect conditions for a constant temperature all year round.
So now I was not sure what to believe: Is this whisky a blend of two "foreign" whiskies and just blended in Japan?
Or was it distilled in Japan at this distillery and aged in a train tunnel?
I decided to email their customer service, and until today I have not heard back. So for now, I just do not know what to believe.
If any reply is send, I'll update this page!
The glass bottle has a coating that makes it look like Japanese earthenware, a minor detail that I love. The color of the whisky is a very bright, light yellow.
I got a very clear line after twirled it around my glass and some medium legs.
This whisky is bottled at 40% and as far as I kind find, not colored.
On the nose it is a very light whisky. Took me a while to find some notes. But they were very fresh. Cut grass, vanilla, blossom, cane sugar, hints of oak. Maybe it is because I was thinking Japanese, but even some tea.
Taste: Fresh, sweet and some spirit. Fresh apples and caramel, fresh wet grass, oak, and some spices like cardamom.
Finish, medium long, some bitter tea notes and still some fresh grass and sweet tones of cotton candy.
This bottle makes me want to try their single malt whisky that they distill, and I hope to encounter one in the future!
Thanks Matti, for this gift! I truly enjoy this one.