MARS 2016 Tsunuki Aging French Connections 60%

Single Malt Whisky, Japan / Honshu - Nagano, 70cl, Ref: 57971

Quantity limited to 2 bottle(s) by client.

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Located in Kagoshima, a prefecture in the very south of the Japanese island of Kyushu, the Tsunuki distillery began distilling on 27 October 2016 and the first new make spirit came off the stills on 28 October 2016. Distilled on 19 December 2016 and then matured in a second-fill bourbon cask, this version, which overflows with fresh fruit and bursts with herbaceous freshness, takes us immediately to the Scottish Lowlands. In complete unison, the empty glass even adds a pagoda circumflex to the malty character of an aroma and flavour palette which, when needed, is also deliciously rich.

Profile: the lively and creamy first nose is fruity (pear, pineapple) and jammy (Mirabelle plum). Gradually covered in freshly cut grass, it then develops a more lemon and spicy (black pepper) register. Malted barley then takes control. The powerful attack is spicy (star anise), hot and medicinal (camphor).  The mid-palate is vanilla and honeyed (acacia). The silky start of the finish is lush (barley field), velvety (barley grain) and fermentary (barley pulp). The rich retro-nasal olfaction is characterized by notes of praline and marron glacé.

 

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Tasting note

  • Appearance : bright gold.
  • Nose : lively and creamy. From fresh fruits (pear, pineapple) to fruit jams (apple, Mirabelle plum), the first nose is gradually covered in subtle notes of freshly cut grass. Allowed to breathe, it develops a more lemony and very spicy register (black pepper, nutmeg, clove). Malted barley then takes the upper hand and then remains on centre-stage. At the same time, the aromatic palette has become more salty, wonderfully vanilla, and herbaceous (lichen, verbena, sage).
  • Palate : powerful, lively. The resolute attack gets straight to the point, setting down spicy (pepper, star anise), hot (Cayenne) and medicinal (camphor, mustard) tracks. On the mid-palate, acacia honey, vanilla and juicy William’s pear refresh the palate. The rich end of the palate is characterized by notes of barley sugar, vanilla flan and lemon meringue tart.
  • Overall : long, silky. The creamy start of the finish is also lush (barley field), velvety (barley grain) and fermentary (barley pulp). This direct attitude perfectly highlights the uncompromising style of the single malt produced by the second distillery in the Hombo Shuzo Co Ltd group, Tsunuki. On the retro-nasal olfaction, flavours of courgette tempura, praline and marron glacé tickle the taste buds.
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The brand

From Japan, the Mars distillery has a history as tumultuous as it is unusual. Its founder is none other than Kiichiro Iwai, the man behind the famous Masataka Taketsuru's departure for Scotland and, above all, the owner of a spirits company producing shochu (Japanese brandy). The drop in demand in the 1980s forced the "Sinshu" distillery to close its doors in 1992 until it reopened in 2011. The Shinshu distillery enjoys an exceptional geographical location giving its whiskey a unique character. Perched 800 meters above sea level in a region with a harsh climate, the distillery has access to sources of pure water filtered by the mountain for centuries. Mars has a second artisanal "Tsunuki" distillery since 2016 as well as an aging cellar on the island of "Yakushima". Having 3 aging sites across Japan has given Mars the opportunity to experiment over the years. They can produce whiskeys in different climates and understand its impact. In terms of capacity, Mars is 60 times smaller than Japan's largest distillery.
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