Appearance: Golden, rather pale but not quite straw, honey.
Nose: Toffee, butter, vanilla, very light smoke, light cherry / sherry, cookies.
Palate: Sweet, toffee, vanilla, orange peel, more smoke than the nose is nice, campfire, not really briny, but of apple, honey. Rather rich, medium to full palate, silky. Much fuller than the black series.
Finish: Sweet toffee and biscuits, pepper, wood.
With Water: Nose is muted and becomes more boring. Sweetness comes out more in the flavor, caramel, vanilla. A bit is good I think.
Overall: Not all that special, and probably measures up to much cheaper blended Scotch, which it mimics. Not bad. Rather boring and unexciting but tastes nice, without any of the negative qualities of Black. Still, for the price you can drink Chivas Regal, which is much better. For a Japanese, though, it ranks right up there with Chita, and above the grain Ichiro’s, both of which cost much more.