Suntory Yamazaki Japanese Single Malt Whisky, a “scotch” look alike from Japan that brings much of the same heritage, aromas and flavors from just a few extra miles away. Yamazaki looks and acts like a whisky in color and aroma, but how does it taste?
On first inspection, it definitely brings your typical scotch-like aroma to the nose along with some of the silky smooth textures you find in a single malt whiskey. I found Yamazaki to be more of a first impression whisky experience because the single malt doesn’t bring any single dimension on full strength, but rather hints at some of the traditional flavors of a whisky in a light and refreshing manner.
Using “light and refreshing” while drinking scotch from a Glencairne glass isn’t exactly a straight forward easy statement for most to believe because whisky isn’t lemonade. However, when it comes to drinking a straight spirit like scotch, you typically get either a peaty smoke like flavor or perhaps a bit more of an oak barrel driving force or something in between. Yamazaki brings very little to no peat (good for those that hate that stuff) and only a light touch of oak and no real sweetness.
If you’re looking for a great introduction to see what some single malts can do, Yamazaki is a good start but I don’t see it as a finisher. It’s just a bit too light to be what I look at when I try to find the inner heritage of a single malt–it’s doesn’t take you to any new directions or color outside the lines; it’s your safety whisky.
The hardest part is not referencing it as a “scotch.”