...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Eigashima 12 year old, cask 5113

Somehow I've gotten this far without reviewing an Eigashima / White Oak / Akashi single malt. That ends now!

Eigashima Shuzo allegedly became the first officially licensed Japanese whisky distiller when they picked up their license in 1919 (four years before Yamazaki), but I'm not sure until the family-run company really invested in production until the 1980s, once the current distillery opened. Nonetheless, I'm still going to root for this wee producer, because I'm really hoping that as the smaller Japanese whisky-makers (Chichibu, Mars, Eigashima, Kanosuke, Shizuoka, Okayama, Kurayokshi, and on and on and on) release high quality age-stated single malts SOMETHING will inspire the two majors (Suntory and Nikka) to do the same, damn it.

So far Eigashima's ≥12yo releases number in the single digits. And here's one of them, a single sherry butt of 12 year old stuff flexing a 60%abv.

Distillery: Eigashima
Location: Akashi, Hyōgo, Japan (between Himeji and Kobe)
Ownership: Eigashima Shuzo, Co. Ltd.
Age: 12 years (???? - ????)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask #: 5113
Alcohol by Volume: 60%
(from a bottle split)


Oh nice, 'twas a gentle butt. The nose shows citrons and limes, as well as their blossoms. Almond extract and candied pecans. Clover honey and cinnamon red hots. Hints of anise and maple in the background. But then there's the palate. First comes a mix of soil, black peppercorns, and green peppercorns. But really it's like you forgot about the ribs on the grill and burned them to shit but then took a bite just to find out what carcinogens taste like. I think there are some sweet oranges in the back, but my palate is murdered. It finishes with nothing but savory ash.

Time to go Full Ralfy on the dilution.

DILUTED to 45%abv, or 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose remains very pretty with honey, anise, citrus blossoms, and a whiff of delicate smoke. The palate isn't as pushy, but it's still mostly bitter smoke with a touch of lemon candy in the background. It finishes with bitter ash and lemon peel.


This is the sort of "smoke" that feels like an accident. The nose and palates come from two different planets, or rather two different multiverses (since that's what kids are told to be into these days). It smells lovely. It tastes......like an oops. An interesting oops, but still an oops.

Dram Dracula, a nice reliable fellow who I've come across in online whisky groups, gives it an 85, but qualifies it with "Not something I would want to drink again, if I may super honest." I'm currently using it as a smoky rinse for my Ginza cocktails. Next time around I'll seek out a bourbon cask from Eigashima at a lower abv. Hopefully that delivers better results.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 78 (saved by the nose)

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