Day #2 of our wee Japanese Whisky series, and today with a quite unknown distillery : mars Shinshu. It is the located at Miyata village in the Nagano prefecture owned by Hombo Shuzo Co ltd. It was founded in 1985 and was operating until 1992, and re-opened in 2011). Due to the high altitude (800 meters above sea level) it gets quite snowy in the winter (as you can see from the images). This sample was sitting quietly for some time and waiting, thanks Yoav. Komagatake (駒ヶ岳) means : Horse mountain, and probably referring to mount
Kisokoma in the Nagano Prefecture)
Nose: Quite fruity to start with. Mainly berries , red fruit and a certain red apple touch to it. There’s also a slight metallic note, but it’s quite likable. Further nosing reveals a slight balsamic note and damp oak casks, Pepper and wood spice with a sweet edge.
Palate: Big and spicy with tons of vanilla and some fruit too. Sweet barley and more berries with a hint of prune. But a sort of sweet-sour prune. Interesting. The metallic notes are gone but the deuces are still here.
Finish: prunes. Malt. And a salty edge. Chocolate.
This is a nice little whisky, not very “Japanese” like to me. quite fruity, and the berries and fruit are a nice addition. The metal note might not appeal to some people. I’ve had better entry level whiskies from Japan, but this is indeed something from a distillery you do not get to taste everyday. Worth your while if you’re a Japanese whisky fanatic,mostly for ‘education’ purposes.
Photo Credit : http://whiskymizuwari.blogspot.co.il/