Ladies Choice – Appetizer whisky aka Akashi Blended Whisky 40%

First up in our “Ladies Choice” evening where the Whisky Ladies hosted the Bombay Malt & Cigar gentlemen, was a whisky we introduced as an ‘appetizer’ to the main meal… the Akashi from Japan.

Photo: Team Table

Photo: Team Table

And our 1st guest writer is a newer member of the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai, Nikoulina Berg.

Niko knows her stuff. Experienced in the F&B industry with a career that has spanned Germany, US, Spain, China, Singapore and now India, Niko has a certain flare for food and fine spirit and wines.

Currently based in Mumbai with The Table & Magazine Street Kitchen as Vice President Operations of Food Matters, she has a hand in crafting special evenings of food and fellowship.

She immediately fit into the Whisky Ladies – in her inaugural session she just so ‘happened to have’ a Bavarian whisky (Slyrs) to augment our European whisky evening

Here is what she has to say about the Akashi Blended Whisky 40% (also sometimes referred to as Akashi Red for the red stamp on its label).

  • Colour: Pale, Light gold
  • Aroma: Sweet, Cereals, Honey
  • Palate: Mellow and very light body – everything but harsh – sweet on the palate, smooth with a hint of caramel and hazelnut
  • Finish: Leaves you wanting more – more texture, more intensity – almost disappears instantly after a quick hit of spices
  • Water: After adding water it becomes almost sweeter than before and it has a surprisingly longer finish, with hints of marshmallows, pear and pineapple

Most of us have a favorite style of whisk(e)y and it is very easy to dismiss this one after a quick taste – not finding the ‘usual’ intense aromas and tastes with a more complex structure.

Take a second look or sip and it might not be so bad after all.

Turns out this Akashi is a great ‘aperitif’ – not too complicated or intense – it’s simplicity creates an appeal in itself, maybe best described as a ‘table’ whisky.

It pairs well with cheeses, charcuterie, antipasti because it does not overpower them but is rather complementing.

After our tasting with the cigars being lit, the Akashi pretty much turned into the favorite of the night with it’s easy-sipping qualities. Hence, it is not just a decent aperitif, but an evenly good ‘digestif’ or maybe just a very ‘sociable whisky’.

Table for One

Table for One

Here are the ‘official’ notes on Akashi:

Akashi whiskey subtly blends malt and oak. Compared to traditional whiskey, Akashi is easy to drink, with less peat and smoke flavors. The flavor is mild, soft, and retains a strong malt aroma, characteristic of Japanese whiskeys, which are approachable, smooth and soft. It is recommended to add ice and soda water for a more delicate and smooth taste.

• Nose: fresh orange peel, very light smoke, ginger, pepper, honey
• Palate: oily, pepper, sweet cake, citrus fruits, vanilla
• Finish: middle to long, light honey, sweet aftertaste

What else did we sample in our “Ladies Choice” evening for the BMC gentlemen?

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