Yamazaki 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Single Malt Whisky
Stated Age
12 years old
American, Spanish & Japanese Oak Casks
43.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
09 Jan 2009 11:35 am

Average value

€ 216.81

161 × in wishlist

1081 × member ratings

5621 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Yamazaki 12-year-old

147 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.48 points

  1. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 90 points Super Administrator

    Japanese Single Malts with age statement are increasingly getting more expensive and harder to find. However, the superb Yamazaki 12 from Japan's oldest distillery is worth the effort! The nose is fruity-sweet and heavy with overripe grapes and blackberries, raisins, nuts and strong vanilla notes. Tastewise, a well-balanced and full-bodied arrival is followed by mild spiciness before the oak complexity kicks in. With its lasting, substantial and slightly dry finish, Mizunara oak maturation gives this malt a delicate and very distinct aftertaste. A piece of art!

    RATING: 4.4/5.0 stars ≙ 90 pts → SUPERB [-]
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  2. SAND scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    (Tasted blind)
    COLOUR: Golden.
    NOSE: After long aering; sweet, semolina, bourbon notes; some dried banana, tropical fruits, hints of marzipan. Rice wine. (85-86p)
    TASTE: Rounded, mild, medium viscosity, a little oily(?), some tropical fruit, a bit of dried fruits. Well balanced. (86-88p)
    OVERALL: Well made, well blended, well engineered (?), better quality (and needing more air) than I have realised earlier but not making me too enthusiastic. Total score 86 points.

  3. didi1893 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Spicy, fruity and delicious. This blindsample exudes a variety of flavors and is harmoniously balanced. Great malt, I like it!
    • Nose
      Blind tasting: Fruity notes rise immediately after pouring out of the glass. Juicy pears and sour apples mingle with fruity peaches and apricots, subtly tart fruit notes make me think of fermented fruit. A few drops of honey drip on the pieces of fruit, a hint of vanilla breaks through malty sweetness. Slowly, nuts and tart wood aromas are noticeable, overripe bananas are added. Syrup-like streaks slowly return to the glass while the "fruit salad" becomes more and more fruity and intense. A few drops of lemon and a touch of grapefruit make the fruit note look sour.
    • Taste
      Tart wood notes dominate the first sip, sweet honey and malt immediately follow. Tart and spicy wood elements run creamy over the tongue, butter melts in the mouth. Slowly, a subtle sharpness sets in. The sharpness is intensified and woody sharpness is mixed with a pinch of black pepper. Tart and dry wood notes exude their spicy notes, dark fruit flavors are in the background, the sharpness returns and makes the tongue glow.
    • Finish
      Tart fruit and wood flavors bounce off each other in the finish. The wooden sharpness is still on the tongue or fills the entire mouth area with chubby heat. A touch of old and dry walnut rises from the sharpness, tart and dark wood notes come to light. Dried berries and fruits give the finish a special spice. Creamy and with a subtle butter note, the finish sounds slow.

  4. lincolnimp scored this whisky 75 points Connoisseur

    When I first tried this, even at only 12 years old I thought the wood influence was too strong and it was really bitter on the palate. After the bottle was open a few months it had improved but still way short of any quality.

  5. Whisky Hamster scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Great single malt example to introduce sb to the classic Japanese taste. Silly expensive for what it is though, more like 50-60 EUR worth.

  6. Highlander65 scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    I taste this malt during my trip to Japan in September 2019, directly at the distillery.
    Less pander and piacione than NAS, but more complex, richer in spicy and woody notes. Very very elegant and elegant, but also very drinkable.
    • Nose
      The nose is drier than NAS, more complex, with notes of oak, cream, fruit and spices.
    • Taste
      In the mouth it is denser and spicy, less sweet and less alcoholic than the NAS, but equally fruity and creamy.
    • Finish
      The finish is medium and leaves a good sweet and fruity flavor in the mouth

  7. WJF1007 scored this whisky 81 points Member Junior

    Honestly people are just having too high expectation on Japanese whisky. This one, in general, it's too mediocre.
    The nosing has nothing special, the mouthfeel burns, the texture gets in between oily and watery, the palate it's ok, but that's it.

    The price for it's quality it's just unreasonable. Like I said, this is a very normal 12yo whisky, with the same price range you may get some excellent even 21yo scotch.
    If you haven't try this before, try a glass would be enough. Don't bother getting a bottle, it ain't worth it.

  8. Koalafant scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Very balanced malt, which reminds me of the Kavlan Soloist Vinho Barrique, but less bulky and intrusive.
    • Nose
      Pronounced but pleasantly fruity of grapes and wine (white Bordeaux) with a touch of vanilla and oak.
    • Taste
      Very balanced sweetness of wine and vanilla
    • Finish
      Long and round

  9. Bam scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Very tasty, beautifully constructed, the oak accompanies a great fruit mix.
    • Nose
      Sweet and very fruity with grapefruit, kumquats, blood orange, khaki, green apple, lychee, pineapple. Behind it come corn and cereal notes, muesli and sweet popcorn. A beautiful, spicy oak note and vanilla are always present in the background.
    • Taste
      Easy onset, silky mouthfeel. The fruit salad from the nose I have on the palate, along with spicy honey and strong oak, and some yeast.
    • Finish
      Medium long, still the fruits, some menthol and milk chocolate.

  10. wbarchive_712710 did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    Before I bought a few bottles a while back, I did read about the release and Japanese, American and European oak didn't sound too bad. Especially since only the European version seemed to be Sherry infused. Upon opening one of the bottles, I was hit by a wall of Sherry and nothing but Sherry. Totally unexpected, since the three types of casks should have resulted in a better balance.

    I admit it, usually I take a detour around Sherry cask whiskies, but this time, it looked like I fell into the trap. Sherry is an absolute no-go for me, especially if the whisky comes from more than wet casks (or the balance is something like 99 Sherry and 1 Bourbon cask/s). However, I'm asking myself, is this really all Sherry or do I smell oak too?

    The actual tasting trumps up with Sherry and some oak. Quite balanced, but not one for me. Smooth but very one-dimensional. Normally I can associate smell and taste with quite a number of impressions, not this time. There's nothing remarkable about this drink and considering that this sells around here (if still available) for about EUR 260.00 per bottle, you get very little for your money's worth. I can point you to whiskies with the same flavour profile that do cost a quarter of the mentioned price. Now, what to do with my other bottles (and this one)? Probably going straight into the kitchen to be used there for cooking.


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