CHICHIBU 2012 Peated The Chronicles 62,9%
Single Malt Whisky, Japan / Honshu - Saitama, 70cl, Ref: 54929
Approximately 10% of the barley used by the Chichibu distillery is malted on site and the peat used is sourced locally. Highly nuanced in its peaty and smoky tones, this version is quite simply resplendent. In its relentless quest for classicism, it shows breath-taking intransigence and purity. Ichiro Akuto, the distillery's ingenious owner and malt master, lifts us up for a clear view and shows us that when it comes to whisky humility is a remarkable virtue.
Profile: the rich initial nose gives the floor to an oily, ashy and saline peat. Allowed to breathe, citrus fruit (grapefruit) and spices (star anise) add even more nobility to its expression. The distinguished attack sees the peat, citrus fruit and spices become more powerful. The mid-palate is sweet and savoury (vanilla, salted butter caramel). The dynamic finish brings us to a cliff edge to breathe in the sea air.
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- Appearance : golden yellow with a green hue.
- Nose : rich, concentrated. On the initial nose, an oily and ashy peat spreads across its salty, liquorice and lush (green malt, sage) contours and completely fills the aromatic palette. In doing so, and with lots of elegance, it gets straight to its core of classicism. Allowed to breathe, citrus fruit (lemon, grapefruit), some spice (clove, star anise) and almond milk bring even more nobility and brilliance to the aromatic palette.
- Palate : distinguished, proud. Even more radiant, the attack markedly lifts the debate. The peat, smoke, citrus fruit and spices have gained intensity and sophistication. The mid-palate is wonderfully sweet and salty. Vanilla pod and salted butter caramel fit together perfectly. The very accomplished end of the palate wavers between hot tar, white florals, génépi and subtly liquorice malted barley. Gradually, earthy and peaty fine tannins gently contract the palate.
- Overall : both serene and dynamic. Despite every element of the flavour and aroma palette being in place, the finish has no qualms about taking a completely different path, venturing towards chalky soil. The same light brightens up an incredibly long end of the palate. The retronasal olfaction is an indulgent lemon meringue tart. The empty glass sees malted barley reign supreme. It is accompanied by smoky, seaweed, spicy and medicinal (clove, camphor) foot soldiers.
- The brand
Created in 2008, Chichibu Japanese single malt whisky is already well-known to Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and to whisky connoisseurs generally. Entirely produced at the distillery and soon, for some expressions, with local barley and peat, and even Japanese oak casks, Chichibu is on its way to becoming the first 100% Japanese whisky, thanks to the efforts of its creator, Ichiro Akuto. Fermented in vats made of mizunara (a variety of Japanese oak that is very highly regarded for whisky) and distilled in small stills, the resulting liquid presents a surprising maturity and complexity, even when it is very young. A beautifully crafted whisky.
Founded in 2007 by Ichiro Akuto, the grandson of the founder of the Hanyu distillery, Chichibu has been active since February 2008. Consisting of two stills made to order in Scotland by Forsyth’s, this distillery has a very exclusive following, it is not only the first Japanese single malt distillery since Hakushu, but also the smallest. In 2008 Ichiro started selling a range of very young whiskies called ‘Newborn’, before launching his first ‘real’ whisky, a three-year-old at cask strength, at Whisky Live Paris 2011. The distillery also houses the last stocks of Karuizawa, Kawasaki and Hanyu, and has its own bottling facility.
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