Suntory produce a baffling array of whiskies, certainly far more than their English language website will admit.
This is Suntory Old Whisky – a miniature I picked up when we visited the Yamazaki Distillery last year. It seems that the “Old Whisky” label has, over the years, been applied to quite a variety of different products but this current edition is a mid-range blend which, if Google Translate is telling the truth, has been aged in some sherry wood at some point in its life.
I actually quite like the faux-aged look of the label, but it doesn’t fool me into thinking this is some ancient, premium whisky – to my cynical eyes it says quite the opposite.
The nose is pleasant; sugar sweet, with a very clean ethanol burn. There’s just a suggestion of summer fruits, but overall it smells young and fresh. Water cuts back those sweet alcohol aromas, and start to expose just a hint of oak.
It’s aggressive in the mouth; powerful alcohol and still with that sugar sweetness to it. It’s very smooth, however, with just a hint of grain lurking in the background. Water leaves the character alone, but turns the volume down leaving a smooth, gently sweet and very drinkable whisky.
It’s certainly not a complex beast, but it’s tasty nonetheless and deserves 3 stars.