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
Bottle code
Added on
27 mar 2016 1:38 pm by KonstUA

Average value

€ 258.15

6 × in wishlist

29 × member ratings

157 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Yamazaki 12-year-old

4 users have left 4 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 86.42 points.

  1. Apikalov scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

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  3. Coldorak scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Very nice nose and palate, it’s really head and shoulders above the Distiller’s Reserve. When it was announced it would not be discontinued, unlike Nikka in 2015 with its age statements, but would be put on strict allocation, its price and its aura skyrocketed. After all, it was becoming rarer, so immediately it was more desirable, and a good number of those bottled were soon to be found on auction. Even back in 2018, in my last trip to Japan, it was nowhere to be found in all the off licenses I visited around Kyoto and Osaka. Even at the distillery itself. At today’s prices, I can’t get myself to buy one. And yes, I know I’ve spent more on less desirable bottles. I’m a man of conflicted decisions, what do you want to say?
    • Nose
      86 86
      Way more expressive nose than the Distiller’s Reserve. Fruity and slightly spicy. Orange, pineapple, apricot and peach, maybe pear as well. It’s also flagrant almost like perfume. Cinnamon, honey, gentle oak, hints of smoke and sandalwood.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Soft arrival, then after a couple seconds a bit spicy. Creamy mouthfeel, but like diluted cream, it still is slightly thin. Fruits shine once again, with orange peel, pineapple, red apple and apricot. Chocolate, cocoa powder and cedar wood. Passion fruits, grapefruit and lemon juice.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Chocolate, grapefruit, a bit of passion fruit and cedar wood, medium length, slightly drying (less than the Distiller’s Reserve)

  4. Monstruo scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      85 85

  5. 88bamboo did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    A truly evocative whisky that is very much part of the full whisky experience. It is not only the cornerstone of Japanese whisky, but is certainly one you must try to complete your understand of whisky in full.

    Although it now enjoys its reputation as almost a nomenclature in the whisky world and maybe even Japanese culture, it has really stood the test of time and has consistently proved itself a wonderfully complete whisky. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you’re not ever going to say no to a Yamazaki 12.

    Link to Review: https://88bamboo.co/blogs/the-bamboo-post/yamazaki-12-year-old
    • Nose
      Colour. Maple syrup or manuka honey gold.

      On the nose. Just as it is on the eyes, you get sweet honey – dollops of it. Quickly you find the honey is merely just the coating on what is essentially a massive fruit orchard. Right in the forefront you immediately find wonderfully fruity scents of red apples, honeydews, apricots, peaches – really, really fruity stuff.

      The fruitiness is so fragrant that it almost comes off as perfumery, or perhaps what would be the equivalent of nosing a freshly blossomed flower. Plumerias, jasmines, frangipanis come to mind. The aromatics are really on point.

      On subsequent nosing, other more delicate notes appear, you get a light dusting of cinnamon. There is a light crispness of pears and white grapes (y’know that crunchiness) followed by a slight tartness.

      Alongside that is just a very gentle waft of smoke, but a very sweet, fragrant one, which is most likely the sandalwood notes from the Mizunara oak talking. It’s gentle, polished agarwood with just a slight singe – the leftover plumes when you blow out some incense sticks.

      And just to round it off there’s a slight bitterness of cocoa powder, which again I think comes from the Mizunara, so the influence here is certainly noticeable. It’s very light and approachable, very delicate and bright, and for the most part a real fruit basket.
    • Taste
      The palate. A lot lighter weight than you’d imagine, it’s thinner than most whiskies so less chewy in the mouth. Very fruity still, but more on the tropical fruit side of things because of the citrus notes that come through. Oranges, grapefruit, yellow kiwis, and maybe some apple or pear fruit jam. The sweet fruity notes have more depth here in contrast to on the nose, where they were a lot brighter.

      It continues to be fragrant, both with the sweet smokiness as well as the florals. Vanilla, caramel, and pastries form the body. It is still very honeyed and kind of feels like adult (spiked?) jasmine green tea.

      One thing that really stands out here is that there is really a good balance with these flavors (a testament to Suntory’s prowess in blending), because you are mixing 3 or 4 different Yamazaki styles but yet there really is no sharp edges to be found. It is very rounded and shall I say harmonious? If anything, there is obviously a clear bias towards the sweet, fruity, florals which almost makes it feel like a dessert spirit.
    • Finish
      The finish is very delicate but very long and warming as well. The smokiness continues to linger even as the palate recedes. But all throughout you still get very fragrant touches of oriental spice, with little notes of clove, cardamom, black pepper, star anise, and light bits of fresh pine shavings.

      It’s heartening that the fruits remain as well, but more on the drying side now, with some tannins showing – reminiscent of Turkish apple tea. Dried tropical fruit slices such as oranges and kiwis round the finish off.


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