Whisky Wednesday: Suntory Single Grain ‘Chita’

Review Whisky

4.5 stars

Suntory have quite a collection of distilleries and one of them, Chita, is dedicated to making grain spirits and whiskies. While much of this goes straight into their blended brands (Hibiki apparently has quite a high level of grain whisky in its makeup), some makes its way into bottles in pure form.

Suntory Single Grain Chita

This is Suntory’s Single Grain ‘Chita’, a pale straw coloured dram. I have seen it written elsewhere that it’s 12 years old but if so, it’s not mentioned (in English) on the label.

Despite only being 43% ABV the overwhelming initial impression on the nose is of pure, medicinal alcohol. There’s a real vanilla sugar sweetness, with just the barest hint of oak. Water doesn’t really change the character – the alcohol is a little less aggressive but you still have that clean, sweet vanilla.

In the mouth, the sweetness is the first thing that hits your tongue along with what I can only describe as a ‘minty’ character – more the sensation of cold than the flavour. Then comes the big, burning alcohol which pushes everything else aside. Despite this, the whisky remains incredibly smooth, with a simplicity and clarity of flavour that reminds me of vodka.

Water cuts back that alcohol and leaves you with a very clean, smooth vanilla sweetness. Almost more like a vodka than a single malt, it’s a remarkable and unusual whisky.

Sadly not often available in the UK (I picked this up when we visited the Yamazaki Distillery earlier this year), this is a fantastic dram that comfortably earns 4.5 stars.

2 Comments

John from Uisce beatha

Hey,

I actually stumbled on your site while looking for some information about the distillery for a list i’m compiling for my own site. Do you happen to know any more about the Chita distillery such as when it was founded?

On a related note do you know if their are any plans for this offering to be made available in the UK/ are their any Chita offerings you’d recommend?

Cheers

John

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