Tasting Yamazaki Puncheon (2012 edition)

Been quite a while since I posted any Yamazaki tasting notes, and it’s always good to come back to one of my favourite Japanese distilleries. If you have not tried the 12, 18 year olds by Yamazaki, do yourself a favour and check out my notes, then go get a bottle. Great stuff. Really textbook whiskies. This however is a bit different in the sense that it was aged in a quite large cask, the Puncheon. If you take a look at the whisky cask sizes chart below you’ll see the Puncheon is quite large, larger than the Hogshead at 480 liters of liquid.


Having the whisky age in a larger barrel such as the Puncheon allows the whisky to age much slowly and thus, gently extract the flavours from the cask. Interesting right? There were 3 batches of which I am tasting the one released in 2012. Sample received a long long time  courtesy of Dave A (thanks mate!).

The Yamazaki Puncheon , 2102, 48% abv, Sold outyamazaki-puncheon-2012-whisky

Nose: lovely ex bourbon notes here. Rich coconut. Vanilla. Fresh would. Sawdust. Citrus and some nutty briny notes too. I’d swear it was a Manzanilla cask. But it’s not.

Palate: lots of oak here too. Some banana and coconut as well as citrus and toasted oak, buttered toast and a nutty edge too.

Finish: bitter wood. Damp earth. Dried Coconut bits.

Bottom line:

This does indeed differ from the “regular” yamazaki , which is vatted from a few types of cask and wood (ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and some Mizunara oak casks), It’s really more coconut-y and buttery, with a really surprising saline-y sort of note, as well as cirtus and fruit. The wood does shine here, and If you’re a fan of ex-bourbon , this one is really one for you. Too bad it’s long gone in most places, but who knows, there may be a shop where a dusty bottle may be found. You never know. Tasty stuff alright, NAS or not.

Score: 86/100

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