This Yoichi 15 (now in the US, albeit not at a friendly price) is a bottle that I plan to follow over its life on the blog. This first review is from a freshly opened bottle (the very first pour, in fact). I will follow up after the bottle’s been open for some time and drunk down a bit, then at the halfway point, and then a couple more times before the end. I expect it will take me more than a year to finish the bottle. If changes are not significant I will merely add notes in the comments to this review. If a full review seems warranted I will post one. In such a case the new review(s) should not be viewed as a correction or replacement of this one but merely as another iteration.
Yoichi 15 (45%; from my own bottle)
Nose: Starts out with salt and some minerally, very slightly gunpowdery smoke. Some polished wood below that with salted nuts and sweeter notes (plum sauce, apricots). After a bit there’s a peppery, olive oily note as well but as it sits it becomes all about the fruit, with citrus (orange) joining the party late.
Palate: Very much as promised by the nose but as I swallow the fruit intensifies and there’s a sudden burst of smoke. The mouthfeel is just a little thinner than I would like. Not much wood here. On subsequent sips there’s more sherry character: the apricot expands and there’s a greater nuttiness and savoury gunpowder and some leather. With more time there’s quite a lot of dried tangerine peel.
Finish: Long. The sweeter fruit and smoke linger for quite some time, joined later by the citrus.
Comments: This is really rather nice and may even be worth the steep asking price in the US (close to $100 in most markets). It’s reminiscent in some ways of the Springbank 15 but there’s more fruit here. The nose is very elegant; with a little more texture on the palate this could push closer to 90 points. I’m interested to see how the bottle develops.
Rating: 87 points.