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Friday, February 25, 2022

The Essence of Suntory, Clean Type (2019)

After releasing a number of vintages of The Essence of Suntory, said whisky producer split The Essence in two in 2019, offering a Clean Type and Rich Type in their 500mL bottles with artsy labels. I am very thankful to have gotten in on a bottle split of the Clean, since "Rich" in whisky usually equals "Oaky".

From what I've pieced together from some Japanese retailers' marketing material, this blend is made of 6-year-old Hakushu single malt aged in cedar barrels with cedar heads and "clean type" grain whisky from the Chita facility. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to try the cedar-aged Suntory Za at Buffalo Tap in Ikebukuro, and it was......not Suntory's best product. Cedar-aged sake can be very good, so I'm willing to give cedar-matured whisky another try.

Brand: Suntory
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Type: Blended whisky
Country: Japan
Age: 6-year-old malt whisky and ?-year-old grain whisky
Maturation: Cedar barrels
Bottled: 2019
Alcohol by Volume
: 48%
(from a bottle split)


The nose begins with loads of florals, hints of mustard and band-aids far behind. Invergordon-style artificial coconut notes arise after ten minutes, followed by cherry candies.

The palate feels scattered. Citron, barley and pickled ginger. Sounds okay, right? Then some Serrano chiles make it a little quirkier. But then SWEETNESS floods it all out.

It finishes chiles, ginger, blood/iron and piles of sugar.

It's all sugar, barley, cinnamon, sugar and also sugar as a mizuwari.


I don't think the cedar casks were the problem here. The probably-very-young grain whisky overwhelms whatever the 6yo Hakushu could have brought to the table, resulting in a too-sweet, mediocre thing. The Whiskybase community seems to feel much differently. If you've tried the "Rich Type", please let me know in the comments what you thought of that one. Thanks!

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 74

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