Last year, Germany’s spirits importer Schlumberger brought two whiskies from Akashi-Tai’s Kaikyo Distillery – including this “Hatozaki Whisky,” named after a lighthouse nearby that dates back to 1657.
Naturally curious, I was happy to see it part of my Vita Dulcis 2020 Advent Calendar.
Japan – Kaikyo Distillery Hatozaki Blended Whisky 40%
- Colour – So pale, it almost looks like water
- Nose – It started off with soft brie or camembert, citrus spice… as it opened up, it became fruitier – particularly white nectarines and the cereals became more prominent
- Palate – Apple juice that morphed into apple sauce with a bit of cinnamon and cheese, bit of honey
- Finish – Light
I kept thinking of a platter full of different kinds of cheese, apples, figs, a scattering of nuts… it also reminded me of Akashi’s Red, perhaps even more so the White Oak.
What more do we know?
Based on the ABV, it seems clear the ‘Finest Japanese’ expression (not small batch) Hatozaki made its way to Germany.
From this interview with the owner Kimio Yonezawa, it is a blend of malt and grain, whiskies distilled in Japan and outside. In terms of casks, they use sherry, bourbon and Mizunara oak…. even XO plum Umeshu!
As for official tasting notes, here is what I could find:
Hatozaki Finest Japanese Whisky is a premium blend of whiskies, aged up to 12 years in barrel with a minimum malt whisky content of 40%. Light in style with a rich backbone of malt whisky character. Cereal notes and a light sweetness allow for the whisky to be used in both highball and straight pours.
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