Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve – The Japanese go NAS, and the Result Might Surprise You!

The Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve is the new entry level NAS Yamazaki, now placed at the €50 mark the Yamazaki 12 occupied not too long ago.

This is an excellent Speyside impostor that will have you wondering if Yamazaki and Glenlivet aren’t working together.  It’s young. In fact, Suntory says that it was created to showcase the qualities of the younger whiskys they mature. Created by master distiller Shingo Torii, grandson of the great Shinjiro Torii, this is actually a very complex whisky that may make believers out of NASophobics…

Photo Credit: mybottleshop.com.au

Photo Credit: mybottleshop.com.au

Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve (43% ABV, NAS)

Appearance: Deep gold, quick and thin legs.

Nose: The Yamazaki’s signature vanilla-orange-flowers is there, but it only drops in to say hello. It’s noticeably younger than the 12 and more aggressive in presenting its aromas, but this is not a deterrent in any way. The nose would place you in Speyside in a blind tasting, with fresh grapes, green apples and fresh clean citrus. Time reveals melon, light balsamic vinegar and coconut cream.

Palate: Spice on the palate with gentle pepper, honey and sweeter spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Linger: The linger is long, sweet and spicy. You’ll find pepper and sweet sherry like notes with tartness on the sides of the cheeks and spice in the throat. The feel is almost like after drinking coke.


Excellent and complex, it will leave you wondering if this isn’t a Speysider, as it really disguises itself very well. Despite being a NAS entry level whisky, this is an excellent expression. At £50/€50, this expression offers a decent VFM and a bottle I can definitely see becoming people’s favorite daily dram.

This expression was part of the December 2014 tasting at the Malt Mongers Israel Club.



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