Update; June 3, 2009: Serge Valentin adds these comments on the 2008 bottling: "Nose: Fragrant and very oaky, with a lot of vanilla and hints of star anis, orange blossom water and bitter oranges. Very expressive. Mouth: Very expressive as well, with a lot of oak again, notes of black tea and chewed Havana cigar. Also hints of morels and dark chocolate. A very unusual malt - and very interesting. 84 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)
Took a bit of getting used to but this one finished strongly with me. The Miyagikyou 10's nose was much less boisterous than the Yoichi 10 I was tasting it with: the kind of 10-year-old who sits at the back of the class avoiding the teacher's eye. What smell it did have was low and buttery. It tasted plain at first. There was a bit of sweetness on the tip of the tongue but this 10-year-old soon lost her inhibitions. Certainly not the shy kid she seemed at first. Tastes in every direction that I didn't know enough about whisky to identify properly. Then, the finish: big, chocolatey and satisfying. I liked the end a lot but I wasn't so sure about the middle.
Martine Nouet, Whisky Magazine, 40，4/6/2004. 7.25/10. Nouet found the nose floral but peppery: "Cider apple. Becomes buttery with toffee notes" and even a rumour of creosote. The palate was "sweet and sour" with pear-drop, pineapple and varnish developing before a "dry and assertive finish". Overally she found the nose more beguiling than a palate which lacked "elegance and cohesion."
Dave Broom, Whisky Magazine, 40，4/6/2004. 8.5/10. Broom found the nose "lifted, lightly floral" with some complexity. In the mouth it was "medium-bodied and lively. Silky, soft fruits. Graceful and smooth with balanced oak" before a "broad" cedary and winey finish."
(Please note the dates on reviews if they are provided. There may be significant variation between different years of a single malt brand)
Abv 45 per cent
Price (April 2007)
700 ml - 4,718 yen
180 ml - 1,180 yen