Update April 2010. Review by "Dramtastic":
Togouchi Aged 18 Years 43%
Nose: Is soft and fruity, mainly peach and pear. Some cereal notes of oats and bran; also varnish, white pepper and baked carrots. After about 10 minutes, some oak comes into the picture. Palate: Very clean malt, some white pepper, bran, cream, marzipan, sweet baked carrot, sweet corn. Finish: Medium length, medium spice, and echoes what came before. Leaves a feeling of white pepper covered bran on the palate. After about 20 minutes, the nose produces a nice hit of malt.
Comments: Overall, this is a very pleasant whisky and a first class effort for a company that only produces one whisky. Like a number of Japanese blends I've had, this doesn't come across as one (a blend). "
I had never heard of this whisky and, for that matter, I had no idea this company produced whisky until Daniel sent me his review. It is made by Chogoku-jozo, which is usually more in the shochu line, but seems to have branched out into whisky making. As I say, it was discovered by Daniel, who will be contributing reviews to Nonjatta over the coming months. It is a blend and, as Daniel says in his review, the company says it is aged in an abandoned railway tunnel in the Japanese Alps. Intriguing!
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Daniel
"General Comments: My hopes were so high after reading about how this unknown is aged in an abandoned railroad tunnel. It’s an elderly 18year old, and it’s dashingly packaged. A typical Japanese relationship: a long polite beginning. But given time (and liquid lubrication) it opens up to reveal a fine and nuanced character with many wonderful and interesting turns. A spectacular whisky.
Appearance/Colour: old gold (0.6 using the Whisky Magazine color bar).
Aroma: Imperceptible on opening. Oatmeal. Fabric softener. Dried hay. Exotic spices, old wood, incense, and vanilla emerged after giving the whisky time to open up and adding water.
Palate: Spicy. Sandalwood. Heather. Pepper. After adding water: toffee and honey, then raisins and nuts.
Finish: Dry and peppery. Medium smoke. After diluting: caramel and chai spice, then Dr. Pepper and all spice. Almond oil on the end.
Overall: Soft and ephemeral despite its robustness and spicy edge. Requires some water and takes ages to open up. Delicately layered and deeply complex, this whisky needs time, patience, and attention as it changes through the tasting. Water carefully, the character changes quickly with small amounts."
43 per cent
Price (April 2007)
720 ml - 6,300 yen
Can be bought here.