Kamiki whisky (48% ABV)
Star rating: 3.5/5
Despite making our round-up of the best Japanese whisky, this is a bit of an odd one out. The legal requirements in Japan for whether you can call a spirit ‘Japanese’ or not are less strict than in the same requirements in the UK or Europe.
As a case in point, Kamiki is a bottling that uses ‘rare Japanese malt whiskies and the finest malt whiskies from the rest of the world, and fuses this unique blend with the highest-quality pure spring water from Japan.’ The blend is then aged for a further three months in yoshino sugi, or Japanese cedar – a world first.
A very rich gold in the glass, the nose has, unsurprisingly, lots of wood. The aromatic cedar is absolutely massive, with hints of incense, lavender, jasmine and green tea amongst the wood shavings, then fruit cake and raisins underneath with maple syrup, a hint of sherry vinegar sharpness, and a smokey, peaty note.
The body is full and oily, again with that huge cedar influence, but balanced by the smoke and peat. There are spices in abundance, with pepper and even cayenne notes. A cereal sweetness and light malt note bring a semblance of balance, but this all about the wood influence.
The malt and fruit notes fade out quickly in the finish, the peat notes a little after and then there’s a long, lingering spice and the cedar wood, with the soft wood notes staying a long time.
The perfect pour
Serve this neat with a lump of ice, to moderate the aromatics slightly. As a whisky sour, those cedar and incense notes would chime perfectly with a generous dash of Angostura bitters.
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This review was last updated in April 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.