...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Moving out, and also another review of Yoichi Key Malts

The movers arrive tomorrow.

I've been packing and moving boxes by car every day, since before the Paris trip, and it feels like I've barely made a dent. And I don't even have much stuff. Plumbing and electrical mishaps still need to be addressed at the house. But I think I've gotten the smell of dog piss out of the building, and I've stayed fit by deadlifting whisky cases and attempting to paint rooms. No matter where I am with all this, those two dudes and a truck will appear on Saturday afternoon. Goodbye sad bachelor pad, hello overwhelmed bachelor house!

Since I did not visit Japan this year, I decided the reviews for my apartment send-off would be some Yoichis. There was a whole week of posts planned but that was some silly optimism. Instead, most of my drinking has consisted of me staring into space, sipping Chablis at some point after 10pm.

This trio of Yoichi's Key Malts was picked up by the Doctors Springbank last year (thank you!), so their bottlings are more recent than the ones reviewed in 2022.

One final note. This tasting was conducted in the apartment's master bathroom while tornado sirens blared for almost an hour. Mathilda sat on a zafu cushion reading a novel while her father sat in his desk chair smelling tempered poison. 

Newer Sapporo Triplets

Woody and Vanillic - 55%abv
Sherry and Sweet - 55%abv
Peaty and Salty - 55%abv
Less generically woody than expected, the nose offers some fun spices like clove and cardamom layered on top of peaches and grapefruit. The vanilla and peat remain calm.Dried cherries, walnuts, and something beefy arrive first in the nose, followed by caramel, blossoms, and hints of raspberry jam and black raisins.Yes. The nose. Seaweed, antiseptic, and rubber gaskets galore. A whiff of farm, soft grassiness, and a drop of Sambuca fill in the gaps.
The palate dishes out some tannins at the start, as well as some bold peat. It's so sweet and floral that it's almost like peaty new make. Not bad though. There's a nice leafiness in the background.Cherry jam and coal smoke on the palate. Bits of earth, mint, and fig make cameos. A sharp tannic bite threatens in the distance.The palate is simple, but on target with a gentle sweetness, sooty peat, a generous dose of sea salt. The soot intensifies with time, while an herbal bitterness rises from the background.
It's very sweet on the finish, with a grassiness in the middle, and vanilla in the back.It finishes with cherry jam, serrano chiles, menthol, and raspberry candy.It finishes with kiln, menthol, and a little bit of bitterness.
Final thoughts:
Better than the previous Woody & Vanillic, which I called "the worst Yoichi I've ever tried", this whisky isn't completely wrecked by vanilla, in fact the nose is quite lovely.
Final thoughts:
Again, this one is better than the version I tried two years ago. Some bland sherry and oak notes keep this one from soaring, but I do love the cherry jam and coal smoke combo.
Final thoughts:
Picture baby Ardbeg, but with less violence, more control. It may not offer much complexity, but it does what it says on the tin, and reliably hits the spot. A great winter pour.
Rating: 82Rating: 84Rating: 87


Until after I finished the tasting and checked my old notes, I'd forgotten how disappointed I was with the Key Malts set I'd reviewed two years ago. This set was more consistent, more on-brand Yoichi, if that makes sense. If you nabbed this set from the distillery recently, enjoy, and bask in the warmth of my jealousy.

Next week, the scotch returns...