This is a nuanced delicacy, so tread lightly. It offers a nose of rich apple, oloroso sherry, cranberry, pepper, fennel, star anise, and a touch of milk chocolate. The sherry casks are at play: dark ruby fruits, peppery spice, and cinnamon. The mouthfeel holds steady, with Cola Cubes, stewed blackberry, and apple peels as the spices fall out, ending with cocoa-dusted dried fruits. (KM, Winter 2017)
The Ohishi distillery is located on the banks of the Kuma River, which is one of Japan's fastest flowing rivers. The distillery was founded in 1872 and produces some of the most exciting whisky coming out of Japan. Ohishi grows at least 30% of the rice that they distill, and the fertile soils and exceptional growing climate make for some of the finest base ingredients available. The strain of rice is called "gohyakumanishi" (meaning "five million stones"), and an organic method of cultivation is utilized that requires the use of koi carp for weed control. The rest of the grain is procured from local farms in Kumamoto prefecture and is of the short grained Mochi variety. The grains are partially malted and then distilled in the traditional Japanese stills before being filled into ex-sherry and brandy casks and aged in high-altitude warehouses.
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