Wanted to try something new and unusual in the midst of a daunting task, so I turned to this for something inspirational.
Well, it's a bold attempt and came of fairly well I'd say, a success.There's not a lot of complexity here, but there is some depth and good balance, though the finish is somewhat abrupt. The white wine is discernible on the nose, and it brought back memories of the Meursault aged Glenmorangie--without the added complexity thanks to age, etc.
The European oak's tannins and vanilla nicely offset the fruity sweetness of the white wine cask, making for an interesting profile. However, as a whole the end product lacks a degree of integration that would give the intermingling of the casks more continuity into the finish.
The idea seems to have been to use a new oak barrel to rapidly impress the wood upon the spirit, and then let the wine cask work on that to round it up and civilize it. Note that it spent a full two years in the wine cask, versus three in the new oak.
There have been a succession of such experimental young bottlings of Japanese whisky recently, in part due to the reopening of distilleries, no doubt, and an adventurous approach to aging and cask selection.
I'd say this was a successful experiment and a sign that eventually we are going to see some impressive bottlings from this distillery a few more years along.