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Chichibu The First – Ichiro’s Malt

Today we’re about to taste the first dram from Japan’s youngest distillery which has been distilling since 2008 – Chichibu. Only in 2011 the spirit was old enough to be called “whisky” and this is the first such expression that is released. Aged in 200-litre Bourbon barrels and vatted from 31 barrels. I’ve come to understand that the big difference between night and day temperature at the distillery warehouse, is responsible for quick maturation. I’ve tasted the “new born” Chichibu in the past, and it was well, surprisingly nice for such a youngster, let’s see how the elder brother fairs. I’ve had the sample bottle lying around for quite some time, and first tasted it a few months ago, But only got to tasting it again (as I usually do) and it seems like a good time to be publishing the notes…

Chichibu The First / Ichiro’s Malt 3yo ,  61.8% , £89JAPAN_CHI5

Nose:  Lots of vanilla, some  Lemon sherbet with hints of Cigar leaves. On the other hand its kind of floral big time too. A second sniff reveals notes of sweet dough. Very fresh with certain bourbon-y like qualities.
Palate: whoa! At 61.8 this is a cracker. Big. Big. Vanilla. Tobacco. Chilly. Sugary. Gingery. Bubble-gum. a melange of flavours and very rich and big bodied. A baby, but actually feels older.
Finish : Long. Malty. Wee bitter with tea and tobacco leaves and spice.

Score: 84/100

All in all it’s a lovely dram, feels older than 3 years of age, as I’ve mentioned before : indeed the climate is a sort of “turbo” charger that affects maturation here. Will be great to try that one at 5 or 8 years old too. It sure seems Ichiro Akuto knows what he’s doing, and I’m pretty sure we’re in for a great new distillery, you’ll be hearing about quite a bit in the future.

Many thanks to MM from #1 drinks for the official sample.

One reply on “Chichibu The First – Ichiro’s Malt”

This allready one of my favourite Japanese whiskies. I was also delighted that this was NOT just another unnecesay we-are-now-three-years-old bottling, but a bottling that is justified by its own quality

Steffen

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