Akashi White Oak Blended Whisky

Akashi_WhiteOak

With the recent rise in popularity of Japanese whisky, it seems like a lot of Japanese expressions are now flooding the market. To the uninitiated, it can be difficult to distinguish the multitudes of bottles with calligraphic Japanese characters in bold accompanied by sparse descriptions in English. I remember attending an “Evening with the Blenders” event at the Scotch Whisky Experience where an excited patron held up a bottle of Yoichi NAS to me and said they won it in the raffle. “It’s collectible!”, they decreed. Well unfortunately for them, or fortunately for me, not all Japanese whiskies are collectible. The Akashi blended whisky is very much an expression whose value will not likely rise in the near future. Tis a drinking whisky. Aren’t they all?

So what is this? Well Akashi is a brand which represents the Eigashima distillery in Japan (which is located in Akashi City). They started like many Japanese distilleries as a Sake and Shochu producer and have recently popped up on the European and American markets. However, this expression is a blend of whiskies from Japan and somewhere else. Sources suggest grain whisky from America. Apparently the Japanese version is quite different from the EU and American versions in that it contains molasses spirit. So that one is quite interesting but what we have here is basically an international blend. The marketing department probably thought making it look very Japanese would help boost sales in Europe and the States, and it probably has. Note that White Oak is another brand they use for their whiskies, so you might see people refering to this as Akashi or White Oak. They use these names on other expressions so it can get a bit confusing.

Another cool tidbit about Eigashima, it is “technically” the oldest whisky distillery in Japan because they got their whisky license in 1919 (Yamazaki started in 1923), but they really didn’t start making whisky until much later.

 

Distillery: Blend of whisky from Eigashima Distillery and American grain whisky.

Age: NAS

Cask: Unknown

ABV: 40%

Price: £29.95 from the Master of Malt

 

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News: Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Matured General Release Announcement

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For a review of the Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Matured General Release click here.

Kilchoman have just sent out an email about their first general release Sauternes cask matured whisky. It was a bit confusing because they claimed it to be their first Sauternes cask whisky ever but in fact they released a club version in the winter of 2015.

I’m going to toot my own horn here; I totally called that they would release a general version of the Sauternes!

Anyway here are the details:

Aged for more than 5 years (fully matured) in a Sauternes cask from Bordeaux. Bottled at 50%. 6,000 bottles produced with a price tag of £73.50. This will be going on sale on their website tomorrow (Wednesday 7th September at 10am)! It will also be available in selected shops around the world.

The club release was bottled at 60% and was one of my favourite releases from Kilchoman. So really looking forward to this one! As I have said of the club release, I think this is the only heavily peated Scotch whisky fully matured in Sauternes casks. Well I guess now there are two. Will definitely try to get at least a sample of this for tasting notes. I’ll add a link on this page to the tasting notes once I get them!