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Whisky Direct is a direct importer of Japanese & Rare Whisky.

Suntory Yamazaki 2016 Sherry Cask (700ml / 48%)

Japanese Whisky

Suntory Yamazaki 2016 Sherry Cask (700ml / 48%)

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Suntory Yamazaki 2016 Sherry Cask (700ml / 48%)

4,499.00

700ml / 48% ABV

Review / Tasting Notes (www.drinkhacker.com)

In 2014 Jim Murray pronounced The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 the best whisky of the year, and the whisky world promptly exploded…

And now there is another.

The Yamazaki is finally back with a new edition of this hot product, Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 vintage. Sherry of course is not a new thing at Yamazaki, but using it exclusively in released expressions isn’t common. Japanese whisky can be quite delicate, and sherry casks provide an effect in the diametric opposite direction.

The final blend in this release bears no age statement but starts with the same lot of whiskies (over 100 sherry-aged casks) used to make the Sherry Cask 2013 release. These spent two extra years in cask, to which Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo then added some additional, older sherry-casked stock, some of which were more than 25 years old. So basically, if you liked Sherry Cask 2013, the idea is that you’ll love 2016.

Without further ado, let’s dig into this rarity.

The color is exceptionally dark, a deep amber that verges on mahogany, clearly showcasing both some significant age and the pure impact of the sherry cask. The nose is enchanting — lush caramel malts and bright sherry notes, cocoa-dusted nuts with some oxidized notes, leather, and cigar tobacco — all told, the picture of a very old and well-sherried Highland single malt.

The palate sticks with the theme, offering intense nuttiness, quite bitter, with notes of wet leather, tobacco leaf, incense, and spicy cloves. The finish goes on and on with notes of Madeira wine, prunes, well-steeped black tea, and bittersweet cocoa powder. After one sip my mind immediately raced back to my experience with Highland Park 50 Years Old, which remains seared into my brain. Many of the same notes are there, a licorice kick nagging at the back of the throat.

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is an old beast that presents itself as brash and punchy, unashamed of its majesty. Give it the respect it deserves.

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