Appearance: Between straw and medium gold. A bit oily.
Nose: Nose seems like shochu or awamori at first, with strong koji notes. Then honey, vanilla, caramel. Shochu-esque character is off-putting. Some sherry too. Apple.
Palate: Sweet, malty, wood, tannin, touch of sherry, light to medium smoke, but not very phenolic, maybe a touch of iodine.
Finish: Sweet dark fruit, caramel, light smoke, pepper.
With Water: Koji character muted, sweetness and smoke a bit liberated. Better, I would say.
Overall: A bit confusing. Young, tannic, definitely some interesting flavors but they are quite muted. It seems to be a bit confused as to what it is aiming for. Not bad, but I am not particularly impressed. The koji nose is off-putting. Flavor is better.