At a recent festival I had the pleasure of tasting this lovely whisky from the Hanyu distillery, called the Joker. This distillery was producing whisky since the 1980’s but stopped in 2000. The remaining casks were stored and started being bottled from time to time in a series Ichiro’s Malt, the Card series. Each bottling is a playing card and the final expression in this deck is the Joker.
Distilled between 1985 and 2000, and bottled in 2014 at 57,7%. A total of 3690 bottles are produced. Vatting of 14 casks ranging from the years 1985 to 2000, including different type of casks. On the nose I find a sweet dense and deep flavour set reminding me of figs, dates, orange, leather, creamy, Turkish delight and some roses also in the heavy floral notes. Bits of ginger and Christmas cake come to mind, with some fresh citrus notes thrown in the mix.
On the palate you can find this also very clearly back. It is creamy and dense of flavours. A dram for sure that you have to give time and enjoy slowly, each drop savoured. It is warm and thick, packed with red fruits, chocolate and some pepper. Dried fruits, raisins, marzipan, fudge and some tobacco. The sweet, fruity, fresh and dark notes are balanced beautiful. The finish is long and keeps on giving the warm red fruit notes combined with the rich chocolate.
Awesome whisky for sure, I feel very lucky to have tasted this one. Scoring it a 9 out of 10. This one needs time to reveal it self to you for sure, and I could have sat with it for hours. Don’t think I can afford of find a bottle of it somewhere. Great one in the journey through Japanese whisky. Want to know a bit more about this one and Japanese whisky? I find this site to be very good resource of information.