The honey sweetness is very comforting and accessible, it’s a great gateway into whiskies, it certainly isn’t harsh by any standards, and the floral and fruity notes are bright and almost cheerful. These are all notes that would almost seem to fit in with a hotel breakfast, brunch of just an afternoon set of tea and cakes.
The oakiness is maybe the harshest of the notes in this bottle, with a slight twang of bitterness that surfaces as the whisky recedes. But it is one that adds some contrast to the sweetness, which would otherwise become somewhat one dimensional.
This whisky is great for those starting out in their whisky journey, I think those who like pastries, chocolate croissants, freshly cut flowers, and tea and scones would vibe with this.
Link to review: https://88bamboo.co/blogs/the-bamboo-post/ichiros-malt-double-distilleries
Colour is maple syrup gold if my eyes don’t deceive me.
On the nose. Very sweet! A floral, vanillic sweetness that is a mix of lavender, honey, honeysuckle and ixoras. There’s a maltiness to it as well, much like lavender early grey cookies. The aromas are very strong, almost like what you would expect with bourbon except without the spicy edges.
This takes several whiffs to fully appreciate, so I’d recommend nosing it several times, letting it air for a little and swirl before nosing again.
On second nosing, I get fruitier notes, though these are alittle deeper and more in the backdrop, apples, peaches, nectarines, still very sweet. And then some woody oak which blends into the distinctive sandalwood that Japanese Oak is famous for, that agarwood incense that you find at temples.
Onto the palate. Fairly light bodied which is surprising given the nose, which would have led me to think it might have been syrupy. A nice surprise indeed! It’s definitely spicy and tingly upfront so you might have to make a conscious effort to let it cool down on the palate before finishing it.
Similar to the nose, you can taste the corresponding honey sweetness and bright fruity notes, freshly cut apples, apricots, peaches. Very crisp and succulent. Somehow this takes me to that scene of The Sound of Music in the midst of the valleys. This feels very clean and bright like a day on Swiss Alps.
There’s also a very gentle maltiness that is just noticeable. Butter biscuits. Would almost seem like this whisky would somehow go well with some Ceylon black tea. This maltiness should come from Chichibu I would imagine, since the Hanyu in it is likely much older. This is combined with the oakiness you also get on the nose. It also reminds me of Tim Tams or maybe Arnott’s cookies, the one with chocolate on just the top y’know?
The finish. Interesting, there is that same honeyed sweetness that follows through (come to think of it, it reminds me of Honey Stars, the cereal), but there is a slight bitter note. Almost like an extension of the oakiness from the palate. It’s fairly faint, but I would think this is the result of the Mizunara used on the Chichibu component, which is something only age can mellow out. Given that the Chichibu component is fairly young, this is somewhat a reminder of the Chichibu’s presence.
There are some baking spices as well, light dusting of nutmeg, icing sugar, cinnamon, but very light. The finish does go on for awhile.