Akashi 5yo (right), with Akashi 8yo (centre) and Zoetrope Akashi (left)
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic
White Oak Distillery SM Aged 5 Years. 45 per cent alcohol.
Nose: The colour is honey and the nose follows suit. Is this only 5 years old? No roughness at all! Also soft oak, tinned apricots, pear, treacle and fresh dough. Smooth and balanced.
Palate: Honey and treacle on crumpets, soft oak, pear, dough, nutmeg and ginger.
Finish: Nicely spicy, yet also creamy, with good length. Some mineral-like qualities and lingering.........lingering smoke. Where did that come from?
General Comment: Really fantastic for the age. This is a working distillery so I wish these guys all the best. From what I've tasted they have a big future if they can get their product out and don't go the way of the Dodo.
Extra note: I've had this bottle open now for a few days since writing this review and the smoke that revealed itself on the finish is now starting to on the nose as well. Shared this with my father in law, he wants a bottle next time I order from Japan!
Nonjatta note: Over the next few days I will update the page on the 2007 8-year-old bottling. The 8yo represented the start of Akashi's journey into premium single malts and I understand this 5-year-old will be the standard bottling from the distillery for the next few years, as they try to build up a older stock of whiskies (their previous focus on young whisky for cheaper blends means they do not have a large amount of older matured whisky). The other significant bottling from Akashi at the moment is the Zoetrope independent bottling, which I reviewed a few days ago. As Dramtastic indicates there is also an older bottling expected later this year, but that will be very limited.