Chichibu London Edition 2020

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Ichiro's Malt
Number of bottles
53.5 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
09 Oct 2020 10:23 pm by Colliemac29

Average value

£ 804.06

32 × in wishlist

32 × member ratings

255 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Chichibu London Edition 2020

6 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.04 points

  1. HokkaidoUni scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    From Whisky Fun

    A vatting of seven casks this time, mostly refill bourbon barrels, some having had their heads replaced with new mizunara oak as I understand it. So no red wine this time, but they have Boris J.. You can’t have it both ways, I suppose. Colour: straw. Nose: tighter, more intense as well, more millimetric, slightly mentholy and camphory, with a simpler but maybe better defined profile. Sour fruits, sauvignon blanc rather than chardonnay, green walnuts, grass… With water: an excellent Sancerre, perhaps from Chavignol. Mouth (neat): works for me. Slight smoke, brine, olives, leaves, eucalyptus tea, grapefruits, more sauvignon blanc… No long literature needed here. With water: more of all that, with a little more chlorophyl. I suppose that’s the mizunara. Finish: rather long, tight, lemony and grassy, with touches of salted chocolate and a little mint. Smoked mint? Comments: clean and tight, with no unnecessary extra-flavours in the way. That’s my preferred way. On the other hand, they have Boris. SGP:562 - 89 points.

  2. HokkaidoUni scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    Chichibu has produced some of the most amazing whisky I have drunk in their single cask editions, but i rate what I have drunk of their larger releases/standards at or lower than the average here on WB. So expectations were tempered thinking I would walk into an 87 here. But I was pleasantly surprised!

    The distillery character and nuance and skill of blending cask influences with time and distillate is well done. But caveat 1: The only thing is that this is a bit restrained, so you need to appreciate nuance. Caveat 2: Japanese whisky is at least twice as expensive for what you get when flattened into a Whiskybase score.

    All that said I paid retail 210 USD on it and based on this tasting of my Whisky Exchange sample I am seriously considering just opening the full bottle and drinking it. There are plenty of samples of 200-300 dollar whisky which I have had and the am not as impressed with as this bottle.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Nose: green and yellow apples and pears - not juicy, but fresh, the smell of a hot dry sauna before you pour the water on (pine planks), white grapes and brambles, camphor. Hint of bandages and medical iodine. Crushed tree leaves. A tiny touch of carpenters glue. The fruit and vegetation is fresh cut/crushed. Over time some of the bramble changes to a little scent of split acrid red oak logs, which I assume with some of the bandages is the peated cask influence. This change in the peat aroma - which to be fair is faint - is a little reminiscent of bowmore and highland park entry level whiskies for me, but far more balanced and nuanced, not heavy handed. If I nose a different, entry level Ichiro - double distillery or Mizunara -this certainly has more bramble, char and oakiness, and next to the ripeness of melons and cedarwood in Double distillery this has much more tart hard fresh fruits - the green and yellow apples and pears. Compared to a more restrained highland park - the Thompson bros Orkney 17 year - I find an absence of vanilla in the Chichibu, and greater bramble, char, and fresh fruit - in this case more white grape than the highland park - but it is very close to this Thompson brothers’ bottle sort of restrained and nuanced profile, except for the highland park has the heather honey and more (although not a lot) of vanilla. And the nose on the Chichibu is more rewarding. In summary, there are 3-4 layers here and a fullness of aroma in fruits, smoke/char, volatile essence, with no overbearing cask character and what I think is probably the distillate character well pronounced in the nose. But it is very restrained, so something to appreciate more for balance and nuance than for any intensity. I do like intense noses on Chichibu when I have been lucky to find them.

      With water, the fruits ripen and go tropical - grape turns to guava, maybe some mango and pineapple. The water in the Chichibu and the fullness of tropical fruit reduces the char and bramble and peaty aspects. Jasmine or gardenia or perfumed flowers bloom too. It becomes more like the double distillery profile. Despite this ripening and perfume it is still somewhat restrained.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Palate: unripe green fruits, those apples and pears, but some caramel and some white sugar and a touch of honey has been poured on them - so the sweetness is not from the fruit but it is a sweet mouth sensation nontheless. You don’t feel the 53%. A very intense mid-palate, actually. The flavor experience reminds me a little of what I expect from the Clynelish entry 14 and the Ben Nevis 10 year - you get some of the malt and aroma fruit upfront and then a pop in the mid palate as the fullness of fruit explodes, but then in this bottle the mid palate just keeps giving, and giving. I actually said to myself “wow that is so much longer than I expected” when I first took a sip. I expected the same sort of trajectory and arc as the bottles above but it is 2x as long. And what is the mid palate? Ripe soft guava fruit, cane sugar, some cedar or sandalwood aromatic wood chest. With water that ripe fruit is still there, the sweetness is still there, but you get a little more wood, some cinnamon and white pepper. But all this is again, not overwhelming and this new spice integrates into the flavor profile well to bring more a roundness of flavor than an intrusive new addition. An umami.

      You can get a small amount of smoked meat if you take a sip of the ichiro double distillery and then sip this. But this is not a smoky whisky at all, just the bramble and some hint of iodine - only in contrast to the double distillery.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Finish: long, the sweetness lingers with also a slight saccharine flavor, some chalkiness and the mouth sensation of the aroma of a hot wet sauna, some of that pine board again but this time steamy. And that fullness of flavor, that umami? It just persists. And persists. And persists. Til you are not tasting anything really distinct, just a fullness. A full finish.

  3. HansG scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    A average level chichibu, intense and powerful at its young age.

  4. ezioaudit scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

  5. Jnpons scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Pleasantly surprised, no fuss.

  6. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur


    As rare as a unicorn sighting: an open bottle of Chichibu [and Daftmill]! I found last year’s [2019] London Edition rather good [WLP86]. Going for over £1000 at auction just a few weeks ago, let’s see what all the fuss is about over this 2020 Edition.

    Thedramble tells us ‘The release consists of a vatting of seven casks – ex-bourbon barrels, refill ex-peated casks and casks which have had their heads replaced with Japanese mizunara oak. Whilst not possessing an age statement, the liquid is noted as being between 6 to 8 years of age’. I tried this without knowing any of that.

    N: Neat, seemingly barley-led [the tasty cask influence cleverly restrained], creamy > citrus coffee-d walnut/pistachio husky > spelt sponge – and just a hint of Springbank-esque farminess.

    T: That’s an exquisite entry. With absolutely no need for water [much like last years Edition], though there’s nothing lost by diluting], we’ve an unctuous buttery chewy slightly salty mouthfeel to start with a rich enduring barley-led form. The huskiness on the nose is followed up by some mild dark fruit cough sweets and a very well tempered resinous freshness, though it’s always the [again, slightly farmy] barley that speaks over the cask, the cask influence appearing at the top back of the palate. Sweet caramel-y chocolate beer > stout on the turn.

    F: With just the right amount of light saltiness and grassy cask-y Caramac=caramel, that barley-sweet unctuous body doesn’t stop giving. At the death, After Eight Mints [is all I noted], before ending on clean buttery wort.

    C: Exquisite maturing whisky. Certainly a mark higher on last years. Perhaps even at £80 [dreaming], I’d want a bottle in the cupboard.


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