Archive for the ‘Shinshu’ Category

Mars Maltage Cosmo 43%

A blend of Scottish malt whisky & Shinshu malt

Tasted: June 2016

Now, that’s an odd nose. It opens with an almost herbal grainy or youthful, acetone-like note. I’m guessing that’s the Shinshu component. Hints of malt, raisinated cherry fruit follow, but it’s very tight and not overly connected. It becomes quite sweet and rich as the chunky Oloroso kicks in along with some duty spice and late dunnage notes.

The palate is lightly herbal with hints of barley and again youthful, spirit notes. The sherry is hemmed in by the graininess, minerality and alcohol. Quite tight, tannic and woody with a late, lazy peat smoke note in the finish and a touch of orange conserve, treacle and malt. I’m not sure the two spirits have fully integrated as the Shinshu spirit is too young and the Scottish malt is a little too woody and tannic. Also the alcohol is overly aggressive for 43%, and it really doesn’t do water particularly well, and it’s far too overpriced!

Mars Maltage 3 plus 25 (28 year old) 46%

Distilled at the Shinshu Distillery, distributed by the Hombo Shuzo Co Ltd

Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: A big, oily and heavily oaked nose. Juicy and broad, lightly honeyed with some lovely sweet apricot, banana and hazelnut notes.

Palate: Opens with some light coal smoke and perfumed oak. Hints of violets and nutty honey follow. Not as oaked as the nose as the fresh and granity notes balance. Lovely intensity and a beautiful sweetness.

Finish: Lovely length with a continuation of the mineral and citrus character.

Conclusion: Juicy and broad with the citrus notes balancing.

Mars Maltage Komagatake ‘The Revival’ 2011 (3 year old) 58%

American Oak. Peated to 8ppm

Dist: 2011 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Jan 2015

Evocative and charming nose. Gristy but sweet barley and cereal to begin with. Lightly honeyed with some grippy spice an hints of banana skin, apricot, peach. Fragrant vanilla and subtle toffee notes come through with time along with resinous, oily oak which reminds me of Mizunara oak. Quite malty and breay now with a brief whiff of smoke. Beautifully complex for such a young spirit.

The palate is full, honeyed and quite sweet. Layers of malt, toffee’d oak, barley and fleshy fruit. Pleasantly oily with dusty dried fruit, herbs and spice on the middle. Long with a gristy barley finish with some late peat and wood smoke. The alcohol makes the finish a little dry.

With water the nose becomes very malty and biscuity with plenty of milk chocolate and cocoa powder. A hint of boiled sweets and an almost wheaty note appears . The palate is similarly biscuit with the emphasis shifted to the barley. It’s a little simpler now with more herbal notes in the finish. But for such a young spirit it’s very impressive