Ichiro Akuto's new pure malt, Ginkgo will start appearing in Japanese shops over the next few weeks. It was a privilege to get an early taste.
Nose: a thick caramel smell at first but this was gone before I could say "Ichiro Akuto", giving way to something intensely floral. There was sweet bread dough in there and even a distant whiff of a packet of pink marshmallows.
Mouth: Surprisingly uncompromising. A black treacle, almost Bovrilish start. It rises to a green twig chewing astringency but there is a rounded sweetness through it all. Before a slightly bitter end, I got a delicious taste of sugary melted butter.
I followed this one with a nip of Suntory's more expensive premium blend Hibiki 17 and Ginkgo stood up very well in the comparison.
Reviews by more reliable typesDave Broom of Whisky Magazine is quoted here. He describes it as a "well-balanced light fresh aperitif". Palate: "Pure and clean and though light-bodied it has a succulent sweet centre. Spicier and more acidic than the nose suggests which gives a liveliness to the creamy mushed up fruits in the centre."
Alcohol46 per cent
Price (April 2007)700 ml - Europe: £52. Japan: c.5,000 yen (here, here or here)
A declaration, or rather an exclamation: this was my first freebie! It was sent to me by the Number One Drinks Company. Very nice of them and without that sort of generosity we just won`t be able to keep up with these Japanese whiskies. Nonjatta subscribes to the Drink Bloggers` Code of Conduct, which means we try not to be influenced by such free samples. Not sure this relentlessly positive review will convince you of that, but I am trying.