Japanese whisky distiller Ichiro Akuto was in London recently to unveil the first three-year-old spirit from his Chichibu distillery.
This bottling, entitled Chichibu The First, is a vatting of 31 Heaven Hill barrels, with half of the resultant 7,400 bottles available to export markets, including the UK. The 61.8% spirit is remarkably developed and complex – well beyond its years. The nose is rich and forthcoming, with black coffee and coconut cream, as well as faint lemongrass, while the palate is nutty, with milk chocolate and more coconut notes.
The distillery produces three spirits: a light and a heavy unpeated spirit, as well as one heavy, peated spirit. This varied output is then aged in a variety of barrels – quite a number of possibilities. Akuto intends for his next main release to be a three-year-old peated whisky.£89.95, exclusively from The Whisky Exchange. Number One Drinks, 01508 490944