The brand new Essence of Suntory Volume 5: Malt Mania includes two Yamazaki whiskies that were created using some intriguing types of malted barley, allowing drinkers to explore the effects that base ingredients have on the characteristics of a whisky.
The first of the two bottlings was created using Golden Promise barley, famously used by the legendary Karuizawa distillery, while the second bottle in Volume 5 was created using peated Islay barley. The use of these different types of malt have allowed Suntory to create two Yamazaki single malts as you have never seen them before, and they’re quite a treat.
Essence of Suntory Yamazaki Golden Promise
Distilled at Yamazaki using Golden Promise barley, made famous by the iconic Macallan and Karuizawa distilleries, this fine expression was distilled in 2009 and matured in American Oak casks for 11 years before bottling. The use of Golden Promise has resulted in a whisky that is smooth and soft on the nose, before becoming much fuller and richer on the palate.
It brings sweet malt, honey and gentle aromas of citrus fruits on the nose, before the palate arrives with rich fruits, oak, cinnamon spice and hints of black pepper. The finish is long, with a creamy mouthfeel and hints of gentle, chocolatey sweetness mingling perfectly with sharp citrus fruits.
Essence of Suntory Yamazaki Islay Peated Barley
The second bottle in this volume was also distilled at Yamazaki and matured for 11 years in American Oak casks, however this one differs in that it was distilled from Optic barley that was dried using Islay peat. The results are a unique and delicious expression that is one of few peated Yamazaki whiskies on the market.
You can expect intense peat smoke on the nose that mingles with salty sea spray, freshly cut grass and gentle citrus notes that linger in the background. On the palate, the peat smoke is still apparent but not quite what it was on the nose, with the sweetness of orange zest, vanilla and pear drops making themselves known. The finish is long and smooth, as we expect from aged Yamazaki whiskies, and it tops things off in style with sweet oak, honey and freshly sliced vanilla pods all backed up by waves of fragrant peat smoke.