The marketing may have been sublime but Torys is pretty foul if you drink it neat and without ice. It has a tinned mandarin and wood varnish taste; very cloying and sweet at the back of the mouth. (We are talking about the original Torys here, not the "Torys black", which I will taste separately.)
It occurs to me that it is slightly absurd trying to compare a very cheap blend like this to a 4,000 yen a bottle single malt. I have a feeling that a lot of the cheaper blends are going to end up with one star, making it difficult for readers to see any comparison.
And yet a lot of people may be interested in the cheaper end of the Japanese blended whisky market. Not everybody wants to be spending 4,000 plus on every bottle of whisky they buy. What to do? It seems a little prejudiced to exclude the cheap blends from the five point rating. One or two of them might stand up to the comparison with more expensive malts very well. However, in general, these cheaper blends are not intended to be drunk like you would a good malt. They are for putting in mizuwaris and such like. (There is a cordialish taste to the Torys and it tastes fine in a mizuwari. That is probably how it is best approached.) So, I will give them all a rating but cut out all the swilling and nosing for the cruder ones and, to give them a fair chance, enter them in the:
37 per cent
Price (May 2007)
700 ml - 907 yen (sold in the "Torys whisky square bottle")
180 ml - 272 yen