Update 24.3.2010. Impressions from Dramtastic of a different cask from the same release as that reviewed by Serge below:"The Cask of Yamazaki Heavily Peated 1993 62% White Oak #3Q70047
Nose: Strap yourself in for one hell of a ride. This one has bonkers peat. Forget any Islay medicinal notes, this is sweet, dry, earthy, oaky peat. Subtle it is not. Hang on! Is something coming through. No, my mistake, just more peat.
Palate: This is the only whisky I need water with. Neat: This is powerful stuff, peat bomb to the max. Some heavy duty spice develops and a little oak. Water brings out the same lychee and cherry blossom notes on the nose and palate that you will also find in this one's 'little brother' The Hakushu Heavily Peated 1993. Here, it barely makes a dint in the peat though. There is a peanut oil oiliness to the mouth feel.
Finish: Spicy, hot, peaty.
Comments: I absolutely love it!!
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
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"The Cask of Yamazaki 1993/2008 (62%, OB, puncheon #3Q70048, 492 bottles) This is a brand new peated version (26ppm) and the puncheon was a 2nd fill one (American oak).
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Similar in some respects to the Osaka Kita NBA bottling reviewed below but more phenolic, resinous, smoky (pinewood) and herbal (patchouli, hashish). Quite spectacular, even at 62% ABV. With water: a tad less resinous but also a tad peatier. Greens, shoe polish, mushrooms (do you know blue foot or wood blewit? They smell exactly like this malt.) Big stuff. Mouth (neat): almost the same whisky as its sister cask, only fruitier and more flavourful. Unusual notes of lychee liqueur and rose jelly. With water: again, close to the NBA’s cask but with an extra-dimension, brought by these very fruity notes (lychees and such) that I never found in any Scotch – I mean, to this extent. Spectacular whisky. Finish: long, on a very unusual lychee/peat combo.
Comments: Had you told me a whisky would taste like peated lychees, I’d have told you to stop drinking. It’s like a mixture of 80% Ardbeg and 20% fine Gewurztraminer. I love this, mind you.
SGP:555 – 91 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)