Japan’s Scotch Shop carries a variety of Distillery as well as Independent Bottlings. They also carry an interesting series called the Shizuku Series. This series is further broken down the Shizuku More and Shizuku Flavor lines. The Shizuku More line consists of single cask expressions from four different regions (Islay, Speyside, Highland and Islands). We do have to play the guessing game with these expressions as the distilleries are not disclosed. The Shizuku Flavor line,as the same suggests, are expressions labeled by flavor profile (Floral, Honey and Smoky) rather than region. Tending to prefer Islay malts and limited on budget the decision was made to go with the single cask Islay bottling. Although it cannot confirmed – after some interrogation – the salesman hinted at this being from Lagavulin…
Shizuku More Islay 3,000円
Color – straight copper. Big nose, smokey salty bright. A cloud of charged flavors. With an undertow of sugar. An initial warm muteness breaks through dust with a rush of spiced peat, heat, and doughy sugars with a very slowly settling wake of burnt something, caramelized sugar, ash, and salted fruit. An impressively dynamic whisky with bright, faceted aspects. The 58% ABV is well handled and the Islay flavors are frisky and on display. Suspiciously well balanced somewhere between the armchair-fireplace dram and a palate-revitalizing, certainly young, conversation piece. Yum. Nate
Ah the much adored but extinct Port Ellen. The mythical whisky that many Islay lovers dream about having a well stocked cabinet of. Unfortunately we are jolted awake by the big ticket price tags that always accompany PE bottles. Several months ago our whisky tasting group was lucky enough to pull together a large enough crowd to pick up this PE for one of our events – and we were glad we did!
Color – Dark copper
Nose – Oh beautiful peat and smoke – but not overwhelming, dirty motor oil, rutty, a dark old cigar club with leather couches, seaweed, cinnamon rolls, a lot of things going on here.
Palate – Peat is nicely integrated and not over powering, damp furniture, varnish, nutty, touch of bitterness, tobacco leaves and oak
Finish – Holds well with some peat and old wood.
Comments: I wanted to sip on a little more to see if I could pick anything else up and the glass was empty. Man this is good stuff. Why does PE have to taste so good? This is a dark more brooding PE that is on the other end of the spectrum from the Scott’s Selection PE I tried earlier.
Ardbeg Supernova Bottle and Box
It was a long week so I decided to go with something a little more “extravagant” tonight. This bottle originally came in a
Ardbeg Supernova UK Duty Label
couple months ago, but I didn’t take the time to sit down and write some notes. A good friend picked it up in the UK while over there for business – you can see the UK Market label in the pictures. The Supernova is a no age statement whisky – so I am assuming there are some youngin’s in there. It is bottled at 58.9% and is touted as having a peatiness level over 100 ppm.
Color – Gold, champagne
Nose – Peat, smoke, moss, barbecue, intense!
Palate – WOW! Big punch of peat, honeyed sweetness, creamy, mouth coating, the alcohol burn is intense but fits well with this dram, melon, you can definitely tell it has youthful origins, a dark spice,
Finish – long, you can feel/taste the peat drag its feet on the way out.
Ardbeg Supernova Front Label
Intense and Powerful are the adjectives that immediately come to mind here. This is an in your face peat and alcohol bomb. Should be enjoyed with others though I think – the impressions and flavors that it leaves you with must be shared. Reminds me of why I love Islay whiskies so much. I look forward to bringing out the Octomore bottle and having a little peat showdown soon.
This is an extremely affordable bottle of whisky (less than $20). You can pick it up at most liquor stores in Japan. I happen to get mine at an electronic store – Bic Camera. This is a vatting of Nikka’s Yoichi distillery (Sapporo, Hokkaido) and Islay whiskies.
Nikka Pure Malt White
N: dusty wood floor, oak, floral, candies
P: strong alcohol heat, oak, strong initial bite then calms down quickly, spices, hint of vanilla, slightly numbing feeling, smoke, some kind of soap flavor that is distracting.
A very drinakble and interesting dram, especially at the price point. If it was easier for me to get here in San Francisco it would be my daily dram or as I sometimes refer to it as the “table” whisky.