Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic
Suntory Pure Malt Whisky, aged 7 years (Black label, Yamazaki distillery) 43% alcohol.
Nose: Smooth, quite heavy sherry. Oak, raisins, stone fruit (plums?), toffee, wood stain. What seems like a touch of peat or smoke.
Palate: Ripe stone fruit, Christmas cake, milk chocolate, raisins, wood stain and again that hint of smoke/burnt twigs/matches.... or something like that. Well balanced.
Finish: Spicy, raisins, plums, chocolate, mint. Warming on the chest and of medium length. A little dry.
General comment: I wouldn't pick this for a young whisky. It's far too composed and focused. This has spent time in a very good sherry butt! Really enjoyable.
Updated Nonjatta note 30.04.2010 (based on further information given to me by Atsushi Horigami at Bar Zoetrope): My initial thought that this was a single malt from Yamazaki was not correct. This, according to Horigami-san, is a "pure malt" (or "vatted malt" or "blended malt", meaning that malts from more than one distillery have been used). Horigami-san tells me that there are actually two bottlings: one with a black label and a picture of Yamazaki, which is a vatted malt with mainly Yamazaki malt whisky in it. And one with a white label which is a vatted malt with mainly Hakushu malt in it.