Back to ‘scotch’ instead of tequila we instead take a slight diversion to Japan. We’ve actually had some pretty good luck with Japanese whiskies in the past, and though this looked to be one of the cheaper entry-level products hopes were high it could compete with it’s brothers the Yamazaki and the Hakushu.
While this makes a nice rocks glass whisky to enjoy, it is by no means an overall great product. This feels like a complete mess in a way almost tonally by smelling like a Lowland, tasting more like a Spey/Highland, and then burning like a bourbon. Much like the problem we’re having with the Sangre tequila’s this is very pretty to look at (of the other 2 this is by far better). I just wish this kept a theme and stuck too that.
What they Say: “From the house of Suntory Whisky Established 1923”
Taste: 5.5 – You get a whiff of that fruit and lightness but it’s already coupled with smoke and power. However the burn quickly makes your enjoyment diminish.
Aftertaste: 5.0 – There’s complexity here, but it’s certainly not as refined as other Japanese whiskies this site has reviewed. It may smell like a lowland, but the taste is more highland.
Burn/Smooth: 3.0 – Oh that burns like it came from Kentucky. It doesn’t also give you a nice warm feeling either.
Aroma: 7.0 – It smells like a lowland scotch, which is actually some good praise here. There’s a bit of fruit, some decent smoke but it’s light and nice. It smells delicious.
Honesty: 8.5 – So the text is bare-bones, but the bottle, the lettering, and color palate is on point. This is a beautiful bottle to own, and even the sealed foil is a unique material that adds class to this. Add the power of aftertaste here and no part of this is unmanly.
W/ Rocks: 6.0 – It takes some off the edge of that burn. However it’s not doing enough to make this a much better whisky to drink. It takes away the power instead of opening the whisky, it either needed to purely just remove burn, or dynamically change the whisky.
Value: 3.5 – This was bought for 3 dollars less, but the truth is inescapable. There are better whiskies at this price point, and despite how nice this smells like a scotch, and how beautiful it is in your bar – it’s just not good enough. There are better Japanese whiskies, and better scotches at or near this price.
Google Shop Average: $43
Metric Score: 38.5/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.5 |+| Reviewer Average: 4.0
Final Thoughts: The problem here is that I will always take the Yamazaki over this at the price it’s at. Even if this is more entry-level like compared to other Japanese whiskies it should have come down in price nearly a 1/4 to compete fully. I know metrically it may score high due to the aroma and honesty, but the taste and overall lack of value brings this down subjectively.