The Yamazaki 18 is a highly acclaimed whisky. It has much more sherry matured whisky than the 12, yet retains the characteristic “vanilla-orange” florals of the Yamazaki.
Yamazaki 18 (43% ABV)
Appearance: Bronze with thin legs.
Nose: The telltale Yamazaki floral-orange-vanilla note is clearly there, with a deeper sherry. Sultanas, cinnamon, light clove with light notes of furniture polish. Smooth bittersweet chocolate and oak close out the nose. The sherry is clearly there, lending sweetness to the nose, but this isn’t the heavy sherry of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask or true sherry bombs.
Palate: Less complex than the nose, delivering a combination of pepper and sweetness with citrus bitterness and wood spice (mostly pepper) warmness.
Linger: Longish linger with spice in the throat, sweetness in the center of the tongue and tartness on the sides. The inside of the cheeks have the sherry tanins.
Beautiful expression of the heights to which precision crafted whisky can get. It’s a very accurate and balanced dram.
The only obvious problem with this whisky is its price. It basically doubled in price over the past few years, and we’re nowhere near the end of that trend, with a 15-20% price hike planned by Suntory for April 2015. In the UK you’ll pay £155 for a bottle of the Yamazaki 18, whereas the discontinued Macallan 1995 18 Year Old Sherry Oak can be had for £10 cheaper, and is on average double the price of 18 year old Scotch.