...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Shinshu Mars 3 year old 2013 Blackadder, cask 1647

The Mission: Mars whiskies thus far:

Like yesterday's whisky, this is a peated three year old Martian. I don't know which of Shinshu's three peated distillates were used here, but since it's supposed to be noticeably peaty, I'd say it's either the 20ppm or 50ppm spirit.

This time it's not an official bottling, but rather one from the independent company, Blackadder. Though, curiously, the official bottle shape was used.

The cask description makes me smile: "first refill bourbon barrel". So.....is it a second fill? On a side note, "first fill" is a misleading term because technically a "first fill" ex-bourbon barrel's real first fill is bourbon, not single malt. A true "first fill" would be a virgin oak cask, meanwhile a virgin oak cask is no longer "virginal" once it's been filled. And you have now wasted five seconds of your life reading this paragraph.


Brand: Mars
Distillery: Shinshu
Ownership: Hombo Shuzo Co. Ltd.
Region: Japan, Nagano Prefecture
Independent bottler: Blackadder
Age: 3 years (May 2013 - September 2016)
Maturation: "first refill bourbon barrel"
Peat level: either 20ppm or 50ppm
Cask #: 1647
Bottles: 239
Alcohol by Volume: 61%

Oooh, there's fruit in the nose. I mean, it's subtle but there be peaches and pineapple here. There's also very polite peat and concrete. Sugar cookies and cinnamon candy. And the ocean/beach note found in many of these Martians. The palate has peppery peat, dried thyme, charred beef, berry syrup, brown sugar and little bit of heat. There's sweet peat, salt, pepper and heat in the finish.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv
Twix bars and cinnamon candy on the nose. Ocean. The peat has gotten quieter but ashier. Not much happening in the palate. Peppercorns and fresh ginger. Tart lemons and mild peat. Peat, ginger and pepper in the finish.

The nose is a lot of fun but the palate is a snooze. There are no outright flaws here, unless bottling a whisky before it's ready equates to a flaw. The heat is calmer than I expected from a 3yo 61% whisky, and, again, the sniffer's fruit is much appreciated. I'm leaning towards this being a second fill barrel holding the 20ppm spirit.

Next week, the tour takes another turn, thank goodness. No the whiskies don't get older, but they do get different. As for this whisky:

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 78 (neat)