I don’t have very much experience with Yoichi. The few that I have reviewed are the only ones I’ve had. I do have a few more on hand thanks to some sample swaps and my experience will have doubled or tripled in the next month. One of the three that I have reviewed was another of these “Genshu” single casks, a 15 yo—I believe this series of single casks is only available at the distillery (and heartfelt thanks again to Gimmeadram who was generous enough to share a number of samples from the bottles he got on his visit there). I found that 15 yo single cask to be a bit of a departure from the regular release 15 yo. As I’ve not had any other younger Yoichi I’m not in a position to compare this 10 yo Genshu cask to anything else. I did want to get to it though before tasting the older ones I have on tap for either later this month or in July.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
Yoichi 10, Genshu Single Cask 407481 (60%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: A big whiff of polished wood, somewhere between sandalwood and rosewood. Quite malty too and there’s rich fruit below the malt: plum, cherry, apple. Not a whole lot of change with time, though it does get a bit spicier (rye, cinnamon). With a lot more time the talcum powdery note I was getting on the finish shows up here too but it’s closer to berries and cream here. Better integrated with water with the citrus and ginger from the palate showing up and balancing the more cloying sweet notes that had developed (some apricot too).
Palate: As hot as the abv would indicate and there’s more raw, young wood here. The sweeter fruit is present too with some raspberry joining the party. Sweeter and also dustier on the second sip but it’s still quite reminiscent of a young, raw whisky at this point. Let’s give it some more time and then some water. With more time the wood gets less raw and there’s some citrus now to go with the sweeter fruit (and some ginger too). The ginger (powdered) gets stronger with time. With a few drops of water it gets sharper, and the wood calms down even more but it also gets more indistinct and then more gingery.
Finish: Long. The wood hangs out and then the sweeter notes begin to remind me of talcum powder (a sort of artificial floral/fruity sweetness). After a bit there’s a bracing bitterness that corrals the sweeter notes. Nothing interesting happens here with water: more vanilla maybe?
Comments: The nose started out really promisingly and then fell off a bit (though water picked it back up); the palate started out unpromisingly and then picked up (though water knocked it back down again); the finish was just okay throughout. This is an interesting whisky but the new oak (if that is indeed the cask type) seems to dominate the spirit. If you like whisky from virgin oak casks (and probably also if you’re really into bourbon) you’ll likely appreciate this more than I did. Oh, and it’s nothing like either of the two 15 year olds..
Rating: 84 points. (Pulled up by the nose.)
Thanks to Gimmeadram for the sample!