Category Archives: Japan

Monde Shuzo Isawa Blend

Distillery: Monde Shuzo
Name: Isawa Blend
Region: Japan
Age: NAS
Chill-filtered:
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £39 (50cl from Master of Malt)
Nose: Earthy, sake, spice, metallic
Taste: Light, earthy, sake, dry
Finish: Short, dry
Rating: 3/10

The nose is most unusual, like no whisky I have smelt before. It reminds me a little of sake (I’ve only ever had one bottle of sake though so I’m no expert) but with a slight spice to it. Once the air has gotten around it, it becomes a little metallic for me.

The palate is light and reasonably complex, with a lot of the earthiness following on from the nose. I can’t help but think of sake again on the palate, just a hint of it, with a real dry edge to the fairly short finish. That metallic quality is also present a little on the palate after aerating.

Well I have to be honest, I have not had a whisky like this before, not exactly struck on it I’m afraid, but it was interesting to try it. A 3cl sample is easy enough to drink but I would not fancy a full bottle, I would find it hard work I think.

White Oak – Akashi Blended Whisky

Distillery: White Oak
Name: Akashi Blended Whisky
Region: Japan
Age: NAS
Chill-filtered:
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £34 (50cl from Master of Malt)
Nose: Fruity, slightly sweet, vanilla, citrus
Taste: Fresh, spice, oaky, creamy
Finish: Medium, spicy, woody
Rating: 5/10

Continuing my blended whisky journey I have a couple of Japanese blends to try. I have tried a few Japanese whiskies in the past, some blends and some single malts, at whisky festivals I have attended, but never done proper tasting as of yet.

First up is a blend from the White Oak distillery called Akashi Blended Whisky. It is a NAS whisky that is a blend of malt and grain whiskies.

The nose starts of with a slight sweetness and fruitiness to it, quite delicate but pleasant. It opens up a little into a light citrusy aroma, still with a little sweetness, but very refreshing. Once aired it begins to open up a lot more, you can detect just a hint of vanilla coming through and a more intense fruitiness also develops. I left the last bit for about 40 minutes and the nose really opened up, lots of dark fruit going on in there now, lovely.

On the palate it is light and fresh initially with the citrus notes coming through from the nose. This moves onto a palate with a good level of spice and oak on offer, with a subtle sweetness that develops into a slightly creamy body. The spice and woody notes continue onto a medium length finish.

Overall I am actually impressed with one, it is a light and refreshing dram that has a nice balance of complexity and ease of drinking. I prefer the nose to the palate as it has a lot to offer given time. I would say that to get the most out of this dram you need to leave it to aerate for 10-15 minutes (same as most drams to be fair).