Japanese whisky has been making some serious headway in the single malt whisky world so most are familiar with Suntory’s Yamazaki and Hakushu expressions as well as Nikka’s Yoichi. But there are some other distilleries in Japan that have yet to extend past the island nation’s borders. One such distillery is White Oak, some times referred to as Eigashima （江井ヶ島） which is located in Akashi (あかし）, Hyogo Prefecture（兵庫県,）. White Oak is primarily a sake and shochu producer, however they produce a limited amount of whisky. Most of the whisky targets the cheap mass market of blends – as the fact that there is the 1L plastic bottle option for purchase indicates. However, they do produce some single malt whisky under the Akashi (あかし）name. I am going to start with the 5 year old and then give my impressions of the 12 year old in a later post. To get even more detailed information and history on the White Oak distillery please check out Nonjatta’s post.
Akashi 5 Year Old ~$27 for 500ml
Color: A vibrant yellow, dangerously close to highlighter yellow
Nose: Not knowing anything about this spirit I was surprised to find a decent amount of peat on the nose, some rubber, new car tires, vegetation, buttery, artificial sweetness: sweet tarts, cereal, it reminds me of the Ledaig 10
Palate: Sweet like the nose indicated, somewhat wattery in the mouth feel, subtle peat, simple maltiness, sweet grain, young and raw spirit but pretty crisp
Finish: Short, sweet grain and some lingering peat
Comments: Very promising, still immature as expected for a 5 year old. The wateriness was a little disappointing though. Hoping that some more flavor will show in the older expressions. – Chris