...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Shinshu Mars Komagatake 2012 "Super Heavy Peated", cask 1492

The Mission: Mars whiskies thus far:
--Shinshu Komagatake Nature of Shinshu - Kohiganzakura (Wednesday)
--Shinshu Komagatake 2012 "Super Heavy Peated", cask 1492 (today)

Now we're entering Shinshu distillery's current whisky era. So that means things are going to get quite young and probably quite peaty. Komagatake Kohiganzakura delivered more than a hint of youthful stuff yesterday, but it wasn't slathered with peat pancake makeup, which masks a whisky's flaws with a stratum of phenolic cover.

But, enough flirting. As Greta Garbo said, "Gimme a whisky."


Distillery: Shinshu
Ownership: Hombo Shuzo Co. Ltd.
Region: Japan, Nagano Prefecture
Age: 3 years (2012-2015)
Maturation: probably American oak
Peat level: either the 20ppm or 50ppm spirit, though probably the latter
Cask #: 1492
Bottled for: Isetan
Alcohol by Volume: 58%
(from a purchased sample)

It has a very pale color. The nose leads with clean ocean-y peat, flower blossoms and cinnamon candy. Simple syrup. A whiff of hot asphalt. Green veg, think arugula and seaweed. Yes, the palate's peat is heavy (ashy and sooty), but it's also sweet. Mild tingly alcohol heat. Acidic citrus, and no oak to be found. The still tingly finish has the oceanic peat smoke with a small hit of bitterness and a bigger acidic note.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv
The nose is cleaner, politer. Lots of florals. Menthol, burnt marshmallows and chalk dust. A hint of balsamic vinegar. Tangy and smoky peat in the palate. The bitterness and sweetness have become gentler, though there is a new edgier metallic side. It finishes tangy and sweet. Smoke and metal.

This does a good job imitating peated Scotch, while also including its own pretty floral notes. It's a fine work in progress, and probably offers a good look at Shinshu's heavily peated new make. And I do appreciate the absence of woodwork. I can't wait to see what it would be like at around 8 years. But with this 3yo selling for $500 (yup), I doubt most of us will ever find out what its older brethren will taste like.

Availability - Secondary market and a few retailers in Europe and Asia
Pricing - over $500. Because.
Rating - 80

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