Review by Serge Valentin
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"Yamazaki ‘Vintage Malt’ 1979/2005 (56%, OB, sherry butt, Japanese oak "Mizunara")
Colour: Full gold.
Nose: As expressive as the Cask of Yamazaki 1979 but with more sherried notes that make it a little less ‘focused’ right at the attack, but it then gets comparably superb. A little more mint and camphor plus hints of game (hare). With water: it behaved quite differently from the Cask of Yamazaki 1979, keeping its fruitiness (hints of coconut from the wood as well as pineapples) beyond the same kind of grassiness. A tad phenolic. More game, more animal notes as well. Superb nose, very complex, which is maybe not what was expected.
Mouth (neat): Contrary to what happened on the nose, I like this one a little better than its brother at the attack. Somewhat drier, more elegant and just as big. Oranges, tobacco and herbs, then the same kind of spices plus a little chilli (Thai red sauce.) Perfect balance between the big spiciness and the fruits. With water: wilder, even spicier, with an even bigger presence. Spearmint, cardamom, coriander, basil and bitter oranges. Yes, an unusual mix. Finish: long, more liquoricey and herbal.
Comments: It’s hard to decide between these two marvellous 1979’s. Let’s not even try… SGP:553 – 91 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)