On Sunday 9/2/18, I had drams of Hakushu Bourbon Barrel and Clynelish 1997 Oloroso Sherry Distillers Edition (Bottled in 2012). Both were from Drinks by the Dram.
In the early 1920’s, Masataka Taketsuru traveled to Scotland to learn about the craft of making whisky. He brought that knowledge back to Japan and from there Japanese whisky began to follow the same style as Scottish whiskey. The one major difference between the countries is that in Scotland, blending between distilleries is considered an inferior way of making the final product. In Japan, on the other hand, the blending process is considered just as important as every other step. Regardless, Japanese malted whisky is fantastic.
While drinking the Hakushu, I was thinking about a quality drink that is a side to whatever else it is that I’m doing. I couldn’t drink it during the hustle and bustle of daily life; it’s too good for that. It is a solid classic malt whisky. The malt and bourbon barrel are clear and well used. It is lightly sweet and just easy to relax with. Nothing fancy, but it is quite good.
Scotch is my drink of choice and the only spirit that I take notes on. This deserves a little more formal writeup.
Scotch: Clynelish 1997 Oloroso Sherry Distillers Edition (Bottled in 2012)
Look: Yellow brown
Nose: Straw, sherry, some smoke, spice
Palate: Smoke, honey, malt, slightly oily
Finish: Long, light smoke, caramel
Thoughts: Has similarities to Lagavulin, but not as well balanced
Rank (1-10): 6 (Would buy at a bar given a lack of other choices)
Master of Malt is a great company. Their shipping to the US is a little steep, but you can package together an order with some friends and it will wash out. Their bottle prices are fine, but I find their sample prices to be pretty high. Why do I have to pay bar prices if I am drinking at home? In their defense, I can’t buy these products at the bar. My biggest complaint though is the sample size of 30 ml. A standard mini bottle is 50 ml. Certainly this makes their prices that much higher, but it also makes it difficult to do a proper tasting. It takes me about 25 ml to do my tastings leaving basically nothing in case I need it or to simply turn off my brain and enjoy. Also, due to the small size, I don’t like to reuse the bottles when giving samples of other products to my friends.
Hakushu Bourbon Barrel 30ml: $10.70
Clynelish Oloroso Sherry 30ml: $7.29
Master of Malt (Store front for Drinks by the Dram)