Review by Serge Valentin
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"Yamazaki ‘Vintage Malt’ 1989/2005 (56%, OB, hogshead, white oak)
Colour: Full gold.
Nose: Much more austere than the 1986, it’s having a rather hard time after that one. Vanilla, a little cardboard, newly sawn oak and ginger. It’s only after deep nosing that some fruitier notes arise, such as pineapples and ripe apples. With water: it got a tad more organic. Hay.
Mouth (neat): Much closer to the 1986 here, but the woodiness is much more obvious, and even a tad drying. Tinned pineapples plus a lot of spices (ginger, pepper, cloves, Chinese anise, liquorice). With water: more of the same, with also some slightly disturbing cardboardy notes. Finish: medium long, rather tannic but not excessively so.
Comments: The oak really stands out here. Quite good but not my favourite.
SGP:461 – 80 points."(Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)