Ichiro's Chichibu Malt & Grain
Brand spanking new from Japanese “upstart” Chichibu, this “worldwide blended” whisky brings together component whiskies from nine distilleries in Scotland, Canada, England, Ireland and the US – or as founder Ichiro Akuto calls them, the big five.
The idea is twofold: First that there’s just not enough Japanese single malt whisky to meet demand (Akuto’s own attempt at a 5-year expression is dubbed “On the Way”, as there’s not quite enough inventory built up yet so it’s blended with a three-year). A blend of malt and grain whiskies spread the wealth.
Second, Akuto argues many international whiskies mature faster than the ones in the cool weather of mountainous Japan, so he’s able to offer a more complex blended whisky. On the nose it's clean and fruity, a pleasant and approachable blended whisky. On the mouth it opens with apricot, peach and vanilla, moving to citrus and pepper. The finish is one of oak, vanilla and fresh stone frui
Nose: Peach and dried apricot, sweet butterscotch, vanilla cream, citrus zest, synthetic bananas and gooey malt.
Palate: Toffee first and foremost, with notes of barley malt, gingerbread, tropical fruits, honeyed pipe tobacco lveas, black pepper, roasted chestnut and freshly cut hay.
Finish: Medium length with vanilla and dried tropical fruit.