White Oak Akashi Single Malt Bourbon Whisky 500ml
White Oak Akashi Single Malt Bourbon Whisky has been aged for 5 years in bourbon barrel. White Oak distillery outside the city of Akashi is Japan's oldest, having held their distilling licence since 1919. Unlike Yamazaki who started production swiftly after attaining their licence in 1923, White Oak waited 80 years to put their first spirit to cask. With their primary focus being the more traditional Japanese alcohols of sake and shochu, White Oak only produce a small output of whisky, a drop in the ocean compared to the giants Suntory & Nikka.
Up until 2017 White Oak were only dedicating one month of the year to whisky distilling. Releases from this distillery are still few & far between & have predominantly been house blends with occasional single malts released under the Akashi name. With the rise in demand for Japanese whiskies globally, & with White Oak having very little aged stock due to years of small scale production, they seized the opportunity to grow their whisky brand increasing whisky production to 7 months of the year.
This is one of the rare Akashi releases having been matured for 5 years in a first fill bourbon barrel before being bottled at 50% ABV. It is non chill filtered & has no added colour.
The high ABV has this whisky clinging to the inside of the glass but the dram is very approachable. Fresh fruit notes of peach, nectarine, mango and watermelon come onto the nose followed by rose water, jelly sweets & creamy vanilla. Hints of banana & freshly sanded wood ride alongside charred oak & toasted sourdough. As the alcohol evaporates, strong aromas of sweet malted barley drift from the glass.
After a little effervescence at the tip of the tongue, sweetness covers the palate before a kick of black pepper. Sweet fruity peach & melon notes return along with vanilla & banana for what is a thick and mouth-filling dram. The finish is smooth even with the higher ABV, showing charred oak & walnuts. Dried apricots round out the tail end.
The Finer Details
Style - Whisky
Country - Japan
Size - 500ml
ABV - 50%