Truth be told, I’m a bit saddened by the fact that I did not get to visit the Nantou distillery when I visited Taiwan in January 2019. Because I tried some fantastic single casks of Omar single malt in the famous whisky bar of the Kuva Hotel (and which is so much better than what’s available from Omar in my neck of the woods). Now they launch a new label: Yushan, named after Taiwan’s highest peak. This single malt matured on sherry casks. Funny detail: the stills were made of both Scottish (Forsyths) as Belgian copper!
The nose shows lots of umami traits with roast beef, wood glue, broth, cookie dough, seminola with raisins and leather. Some molded wood and rose water, albeit in the background. A little improvement on the Omar Sherry Cask that I tried last year.
The body is soft and light, but luckily not watery. Spicy, though. I get lots of cloves and nutmeg, black pepper and liquorice. The fruit is limited to dates and raisins, while dark honey and some vanilla take care of the sweetness. Quite an improvement over the Omar Sherry, I must say.
The finish may be somewhat short, but is pleasant on vanilla and raisins, with a sudden and rather unexpected note of red fruit at the death.
I am not privy to any changes Nantou has made to its production process, but these new Yushan expressions are quite a step up from the old Omar (standard) releases. Rejoice!