Head to Head to Head with Japanese Whiskys.

We have recently discovered that Flaviar ships to Japan if you have a local address. Flaviar is an alcohol subscription service where once a quarter you receive a pre-selected three sampler tasters and a full sized bottle of your choosing. We began this when the world shut down in 2020 and we wanted to continue this service while in Japan. To start our subscription again we ordered the Japanese sampler. This sampler includes whisky from Ohishi, Fukano, and The Kurayoshi distilleries.

Ohishi, 8 Year Old Sherry Cask, Japanese Whisky, 42.1% ABV Smokey sweet aroma on the nose. A sweet sherry-like scent comes behind the smoke aroma. The color is golden straw with a slight red hue. The legs are medium and drop very slowly down the sides of the glass. Mouthfeel is smooth initially with a heat that burns the side of the mouth and the throat for the swallow. The Sweet taste of sherry is dominant with bits of spice and a slight nuttiness. Of the three I would drink this straight or maybe with a little distilled water depending on your preference. There are enough flavors to allow it to be a stand alone whisky.

Fukano, Vault Reserve #1, Rice Japanese Whisky, 40.5% ABV Pleasant aroma of sweet fruit. Scent of tea or sweet tea on the nose. As glass warms in the hand the aroma of caramel come out more. Golden butterscotch color. Clear with medium legs that slowly drape down the side of the glass. Smooth flavor with light alcohol burn on the very end of the taste. Sweet taste that gives a complete finish that does not linger. This whisky would compliment well with the sweetness in an old fashion. Specifically I would pair this whiskey with maple syrup and an aromatic biters to form a solid cocktail.

The Kurayoshi, 8 Year Old, Pure Malt Japanese Whisky, 46% ABV The aroma of almonds and heavy vanilla comes across on the nose. Straw color with great clarity. Legs are medium size and dissipate quickly. Light burn of alcohol on the lips and mouthfeel. Lingering tingles on the tongue in the aftertaste. High aroma and flavor of alcohol. There is a oak flavor that comes behind the heat of the taste. The almond and vanilla aroma does not come through the flavor. I would not sip this neat. I would use in a cocktail that has soda where the carbonation would highlight the aromas, which is the strongpoint of this whisky.

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